Oct 31, 2017 | By Julia

Northwestern Germany has cemented its position as a leading player in the 3D printing industry thanks to a new state-sponsored centre for additive manufacturing in Hanover. The landmark Niedersachsen ADDITIV facility represents a €1.2 million investment for the government of Lower Saxony, and will focus primarily on research, development, and technology transfer. Officially opened by Lower Saxony’s Economics Minister Olaf Lies, the new centre is expected to radically change the region’s manufacturing industry and, Lies hopes, provide the resources needed for Lower Saxony companies to become pioneers.

“Additive processes such as 3D printing are one of the major future topics of production technology in the area of ​​Industry 4.0. We want to strengthen the Lower Saxon middle class and ensure that our companies are on the way to additive manufacturing,” Lies said at the opening ceremony.

“It will become ever more competitive to manufacture components made of plastic or metal not only by machining but also by so-called printing. This increasingly applies to larger quantities. With the centre, it will be possible to determine the right time and the right technology,” continued Lies, adding that these are all reasons why the German state is overjoyed to support the new Hanover centre.

Launched in partnership with the Laser Zentrum Hannover e. V. (LZH), the Institute for Integrated Production Hannover gGmbH (IPH), the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy GmbH, and the LZH Laser Akademie GmbH, the new Niedersachsen ADDITIV centre for additive manufacturing aims to make 3D printing ready for series production.

Therein lies the facility’s strength. We all know that additive manufacturing has begun to revolutionize production technology by enabling custom-made products to be sold at mass-market prices, but the ADDITIV centre is looking two steps ahead. If individual, custom-made products are no longer luxury goods, centre representatives reason, then consumer behaviour is also changing; mass-produced goods are no longer enough to satisfy the consumer market.

“Companies that miss this development could lose the connection,” reads a statement from ADDITIV. “That is why Niedersachsen ADDITIV wants to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) integrate the new technologies into their production processes.”

The centre’s programs will include a series of informational sessions in which industry experts teach 3D printing basics. Everything from the materials and technologies already available on the market, to how 3D printers measure up to traditional machining in terms of cost, throughput, and product quality will be covered. ADDITIV’s “learning factory” will give specialists the opportunity to try out 3D printing systems first-hand, while workshops will teach and compare different printing techniques. Demonstrations will feature heavily in the centre’s education initiatives as well.

ADDITIV will also dedicate itself to professional development. Basic seminars and training courses aim to equip specialists with the necessarily skills to service specific equipment at their workplace. Additionally, companies that wish to integrate 3D printing technology into their own production line will receive free support from the Hanover centre.

Finally, the centre’s own targeted research and development initiatives are set to play a major role moving forward. Partnering scientists from the LZH and IPH are already exploring how different materials translate when additively manufactured, and how 3D printing can be hybridized with more traditional manufacturing processes. “Commercially available materials such as stainless steel and aluminum alloys, polyamides and special materials such as magnesium play an important role in the manufacturing industry,” said LZH Managing Director Dietmar Kracht. “Now it is up to us to develop tailor-made additive processes for these materials."

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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