FaPlaMult | Planning flexible additive manufacturing factories considering multi-material processing

Increasing use of additive manufacturing technologies

Additive manufacturing technology is increasingly being used as part of industrial manufacturing. Over the last 30 years, the average growth rate has been around 27 percent, although most additive manufacturing equipment is still mainly set up alongside actual production in pilot plants and laboratories. However, initial implementations of exclusively additive manufacturing factories and the steady development of high-performance equipment along the entire process chain show the increasing need for additive manufacturing on an industrial scale.

Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy
© StMWi

Additive manufacturing increases demands on factory planning

The Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (AMLab) is a cooperation between Fraunhofer IGCV and the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb) at the TU Munich
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Figure 1: The Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (AMLab) is a cooperation between Fraunhofer IGCV and the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb) at the TU Munich

The increasing demand and the increasing challenges for the factory due to, e.g., multi-material processing, illustrate the need for new approaches in factory planning. Due to the high product flexibility and the use in single to small batch production, requirements arise already in the planning phase, which defines the basis for the future factory operation. The complexity of factory planning increases due to the parallel use of different, partly reactive powder materials in a manufacturing process and the future planning of product variants based on an imprecise data basis.

Development of a method for planning additive factories in two steps

Therefore, the project aims to develop a method for planning an additive factory for the additive manufacturing of mechatronic multi-material components. In the course of this, the process-specific requirements and their implementation are to be taken into account in factory planning. The first part of the project (technology planning) deals with developing a method for the classification of technologies and their combination into technology chains, which is applied in the planning process of an additive factory concerning optimization. In the second part of the project (production system planning), the focus is on designing a production process and layout to enable the development of a method for planning an additive manufacturing factory.
Insight into the Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (AMLab)
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Figure 2: Insight into the Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (AMLab)

First results of the FaPlaMult project

The central result of the technology planning represents a methodical procedure model, which is required to create technology chains of mechatronic multi-material components. To this end, a methodical approach was developed for the systematic identification and evaluation of relevant technologies along the additive LBM process chain. In this context, technologies were prepared and evaluated using technology profiles and a technology radar. Based on a pre-selection of these technologies with regard to their suitability for the production task, alternative technology chains can thus be planned and evaluated. A further methodological procedure was developed for this purpose. This makes it possible to systematically identify the multi-material-specific requirements of a technology chain compared to mono-material processing and determine their performance or need for adaptation and carry out a technical and economic evaluation. In the further course of the project, the method will be developed for production system planning.

Cooperation with Fraunhofer IGCV

Contact us for an individual solution that suits your business needs.

Industry solutions

The key sectors of Fraunhofer IGCV:

  • Mechanical and plant engineering
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive and commercial vehicles


We are shaping the way into the future of efficient engineering, networked production and intelligent multi-material solutions.