The Direct Manufacturing Innovation Field focuses on the generative production of mass-produced industrial components and prototypes. Additive manufacturing methods make it feasible to economically produce components in small batches since no special tools are required. The method is used, for example, to produce aircraft turbine components. In the future it may even be possible to build entire cars or houses in this manner. Furthermore, additive manufacturing methods allow for large freedom of design, making way for entirely new approaches – particularly with regard to lightweight construction and integrated component functionality. Evonik is already represented in the market with a variety of materials for all currently available generative manufacturing technologies.
However, the current methods are only suited for the above-described direct, generative manufacturing of mass-produced components, i.e. “additive manufacturing,” to some extent, particularly due to their limited productivity. Printing processes are still relatively slow or the quality of the printed components is significantly lower than those created with other manufacturing processes such as injection molding. The innovation field aims to provide customers with complete material systems that can offer optimized performance. Important factors for the development of new material systems include the establishment of application know-how in the analyzed printing technologies and cooperation with external partners. The unit also monitors the development of new disruptive printing technologies and supports them with the corresponding material developments as required. The focus is on exploratory innovation topics with intermediate to long-term prospects.