MULTIMATERIAL Center Augsburg: The Innovation Lab for Additive Manufacturing

Research on additive manufacturing of smart multi-material components

Fraunhofer IGCV has been working on several projects since 2017: In ten technology projects, additive manufacturing processes are being researched for the production of smart multi-material components. These components consist of several metal alloys and are also equipped with sensors and actuators directly during layer-by-layer assembly.

Additive manufacturing processes have been in vogue for years - the production of individual one-offs and function-optimized components in small batches represent major advances, particularly for mechanical and plant engineering, the aerospace industry, and the automotive industry. The additional manufacturing technology option of placing several metal alloys and sensors and actuators in one component opens up entirely new solution spaces for users. Fraunhofer IGCV recognized this potential early on and has since been researching additive manufacturing processes for the production of mechatronic multi-material components.

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

Research successes of the project

Based on the work initiated at the MULTIMATERIAL Center Augsburg, several bilateral and multilateral transfer projects have already been launched. Numerous studies or collaborative projects have been carried out, such as:

  • with Siemens on the potential of multi-material processing in the well-known »fennel burner«
  • with FESTO on the potential of sensor-integrated grippers
  • with MAN Energy Solutions on multi-material injection nozzles for large engines
  • with Vectoflow on sensor-integrated aerospace components
  • with Schunk on wedge hooks in multi-material design
  • with the Ariane Group, a specialist forum on establishing cold spraying as an additive manufacturing technology.

Impulse as well as technical contributions at industry events such as AMUG (Additive Manufacturing Users Group) in Chicago (USA) or Rapid.Tech (Erfurt) as well as several scientific publications also promoted the awareness of the MULTIMATERIAL center Augsburg. For the next project years, the more than 30 researchers involved in the project expect further great achievements.

The technological foundations that are being researched and created in Augsburg will ensure that Fraunhofer IGCV's industrial partners have a clear head start in the market. If you have your own application ideas in mind, please feel free to contact us.

Laser beam melting, cold gas spraying and wire-based Directed Energy Deposition

Currently, the focus is on the technologies of laser beam melting, cold gas spraying and wire-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED process). Since 2017, the different approaches have been bundled for the first time in a large project: the MULTIMATERIAL Center Augsburg.

Fraunhofer IGCV is supported by numerous industrial partners as well as the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, which is funding the project with an initial sum of ten million euros.

The division into ten independent projects enables an intensive examination of the individual processes and research approaches. The researchers constantly exchange information on current innovations and support each other through an ongoing transfer of knowledge. Synergies in the research process are thus optimally exploited.

Multi-material solutions: Additive Manufacturing (AM) component
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Multi-material solutions: Additive Manufacturing (AM) component
Additive manufacturing: Testing of an AM component
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Additive manufacturing: Testing of an AM component
Sensor integration in laser beam melting using the example of an accelerator pedal demonstrator
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Sensor integration in laser beam melting using the example of an accelerator pedal demonstrator

Objectives of the MULTIMATERAL Center Augsburg

The objectives of the project in the research areas of product development, process technology, and the process chain are obvious: The product development methods for multi-material components with integrated sensors and actuators and the corresponding expert knowledge are to be further expanded.

In addition, innovative concepts for production planning and control are needed for additive multi-material processing. The enablement of powder bed based additive manufacturing processes for multi-material processing with automated sensor-actuator integration is driven by Fraunhofer IGCV as well as the optimization of DED processes, in particular high-pressure cold gas spraying.


In the DIELEKTRO project the combination of metallic structural parts with electrical components is to be realized.


Development of new methods for the planning of additive manufacturing factories under the condition of multi-material processing.


The FASTMULT project investigates the economic production of large-volume multi-material components using an order-based additive manufacturing process based on cold gas spraying. 


The Direct Energy Deposition (DED) processes are characterized by a higher deposition rate and larger feasible component dimensions compared to powder bed based processes (e.g. laser beam melting).


The goal of KINEMATAM is to implement encapsulated mechatronic assemblies by means of an adapted laser beam melting process. The project is the next development step in the field of function integration.


The subproject MULTIPE (product development methods for mechatronic multi-material components) addresses the development of a methodical approach combined with a systematic selection of suitable procedures.


In order to analyze different cleaning and detection methods with regard to their suitability for specific areas of application, MULTIREIN examines selected applications from additive production. 


Due to the increased or new requirements on the monitoring technology, the subproject MULTISURV deals with topics of in-process monitoring.


Powder recycling is particularly important for the economic efficiency of the laser beam melting process (LBM).


The increasing industrial relevance of laser powderbed-based fusion (LPBF) has led to new technological developments such as multi-material processing in recent years. 

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.