In nature, over millions of years of evolution, natural forms of lightweight design have emerged that are characterized by efficient use of materials. The use of such models from nature together with the latest additive manufacturing processes offers engineers a previously impossible freedom of design for the design of highly stressed components. For this purpose, a completely new design approach (BioKoPra) was developed and made usable for additive manufacturing. Suitable manufacturing parameters for the additive manufacturing of metallic components using the powder bed process were determined in test series. For a complete integration of the new design approach into the workflow of the engineers, fatigue tests of additively manufactured specimens have been carried out and a fatigue life concept is in development.
In individual cases, complete components are also designed and manufactured. For instance we are working on a bio-inspired seating systems with a focus on 3D-printed structures using sustainable materials. In other projects we are currently developing a modification of the SLM manufacturing process in order to adapt the local material properties in highly stressed component areas to load requirements via different scanning strategies
We are looking forward to further advancing these scientific questions together and opening up new application possibilities.