Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Innovation of North Rhine-Westphalia, and representatives from the university and founding partner companies Boeing, EOS Electro Optical Systems, Evonik Industries and MTT Technologies participated in the opening events. Representatives of Siemens, Stratasys, Stükerjürgen and JetAviation, which officially joined the industrial consortium as new members, also took part in the opening activities.
The center was formed last year to further the development of direct manufacturing processes and systems. Direct manufacturing involves a variety of methods for the automatic, layered fabrication of component parts on the basis of a computer model.
Direct manufacturing processes and systems offer significant potential for reducing part production costs and enable the fabrication of more complex and more functional component parts. Examples of complex parts that can be made with direct manufacturing techniques include implants and hearing aid housings, wind tunnel models for aviation and racing, and turbine buckets.
"We are very pleased to welcome Siemens, Stratasys, Stükerjürgen and JetAviation," said Scott Martin, DMRC chairman of the board and senior manager of Direct Manufacturing at Boeing Research & Technology. "The new members will strengthen the industrial and technological basis of the research center and add valuable expertise in the development and application of direct manufacturing in areas such as turbine manufacturing and the production of plastics."
With the entry of the new partners, the DMRC is a considerable step closer to its objective of raising total funds of approximately 11 million Euros within the next five years. The new partners will enable the DMRC to employ more staff and to start more research projects.
"Especially in times of a global economic crisis, thinking and acting innovatively generates tremendous opportunities. The DMRC is a perfect example how industry and academia can work together successfully to chart the course for the future. This visionary view will pay dividends because those companies that have invested in modern technology and excellent research today will lead the way with the next upcycle," said Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, minister for innovation, science, research and technology of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
In the past months the research center was fully equipped with machines and technical equipment, funded by contributions of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the industrial partners and the university. "Our scientists and students can now perform the research in a new laboratory with ultra-modern direct manufacturing equipment from EOS, MTT and Stratasys as well as machines for materials and parts testing," said Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Risch, president of the University of Paderborn.
Research at the DMRC will be led by the professors of the University of Paderborn and carried out by its technical staff and students. Staff members from industry partners will also work on joint projects at the DMRC. Initial research projects will focus on the improvement of processes for laser sintering/melting technology for metal and plastic powder, as well as fused deposition modeling. A focus will also be placed on establishing industry requirements for materials, training, and developing standards.
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