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3D Printing: New high-Tech Device for Bremen Material Scientists

A strong network within material research has been established at the University of Bremen with the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes. The center has now been granted 2.2 million euros by the German research Foundation (DFG) to build a device for 3D laser metal deposition.

A strong network within material research has been established at the University of Bremen with the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes. The center has now been granted 2.2 million euros by the German research Foundation (DFG) to build a device for 3D laser metal deposition.

Laser metal deposition (LMD) is an additive, powder-based production process for metals. This type of 3D printings allows for large construction parts and very delicate structures to be created at comparably high construction rates. With the help of LMD, structures can even be built on existing parts and surfaces. The welding process can be used for production, coating, repairing, and modifying of 3D constructions. Amongst other applications, the process is used within the aerospace industry and increasingly in the automotive and engineering sectors. It is of great significance for Bremen’s industry.

New Materials, New Properties

The new LMD device offers material scientists entirely new possibilities for the researching of new metal materials: Several powder conveyors are employed at the same time in order to use varying metals in one working step and to quickly manufacture many differing samples. It is in this way that completely new alloys with previously unattained properties are efficiently developed and manufactured or composite materials are printed. The high-tech device, which is packed with the most innovative measuring technology, will deliver data that facilitates scientific understanding of the basic processes during powder mixing and conveying, the actual laser metal deposition, and in-situ heat treatment. The Bremen scientists’ aim is the usage and evaluation of the new possibilities offered by this 3D printing technology for quick, expedient material development.

Top-Level Research in Bremen

“We deliver excellent top-level research in many areas – also in material research, as this success shows. The new, cutting-edge device will further material research in Bremen a great deal and will promote collaborations across the institution borders – which is in line with our cooperative university,” states the president of the University of Bremen, Bernd Scholz-Reiter, happily.

MAPEX spokesperson Professor Kurosch Rezwan also confirms this: “The research into new material and technologies in material processing is a significant stepping stone on the path to a more material and energy efficient future. Taking the quantity of processes and data that we now illustrate into consideration, interdisciplinary communication is becoming continually more important.”

Since 2014, the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes has been a supporter of the collaboration between various university faculties and non-university research institutes. Alongside the planned core facility for material analysis, which will be built in the coming years, new research possibilities and cooperations within the MAPEX group will become possible thanks to the DFG funded high-tech LMD device at the University of Bremen. Researchers from various University of Bremen faculties, the Leibniz Institute for Material Engineering (IWT), and the BIAS – Bremen Institute for Applied Bean Technology, will use the device.

Scientific Communication Will Profit

“It will further strengthen the scientific communication and collaboration at this location and will promote Bremen in the important research field of additive production,” expects Professor Frank Vollersten, BIAS institute head. He has several years’ experience in the field of laser material processing and the group will build on his know-how in the area of LMD processes. It is planned that the device be integrated in the joint fundamental research of the collaborative research center (CRC) 1232 “From colored states to evolutionary structural materials”. This CRC at the University of Bremen is developing a high throughput method for the discovery of entirely new and sustainable alloy concepts. “This large device is the ideal tool for flexible and particularly quick production of samples and will open new opportunities for CRC 1232,” enthuses Professor Lutz Mädler, CRC 1232 spokesperson and an IWT director.

Participating Scientists:

Seven MAPEX scientists from four different institutes were involved in the successful proposal submitted in the frame of the DFG Major Instrumentation Initiative “Laser Metal Deposition for High Throughput Analyses and Additive 3D Productions of Complex Alloys and Composite Materials” (Laser-Auftragschweißen für Hochdurchsatzuntersuchungen und additive 3D-Fertigungen komplexer Legierungen und Verbundwerkstoffe):

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lucio Colombi Ciacchi, HMI, University of Bremen
Prof. Dr. phil. nat. Rolf Drechsler, Computer Architecture Group, University of Bremen
Dr.-Ing. Nils Ellendt, CRC 1232 “From colored states to evolutionary structural materials” managing director
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Lutz Mädler, Mechanical Process Engineering, IWT
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Vasily Ploshikhin, ISEMP, University of Bremen
Dr.-Ing. Matthias Steinbacher, Materials Engineering/Metals, IWT
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Vollertsen, Welding Technology and Related Processes, BIAS

Further Information: (in German only)


Dr. Hanna Lührs, MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes / Universität Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-64580

Carolin Haller, IWT Leibniz-Institut für Werkstofforientierte Technologien
Phone: +49 421 218-51374

Christine Steffens, BIAS – Bremer Institut für angewandte Strahltechnik GmbH
Phone: +49 421 218-58130

Hightech in der Universität Bremen: Beim Laser-Auftragschweißen werden im 3D-Druckverfahren metallische Teile und Strukturen hergestellt.
High-tech at the University of Bremen: With laser metal deposition, metal parts and structures are produced by 3D printing.
Updated by: MAPEX