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New Digital Additive Production university chair to bridge academia and AM industry

Professor Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum has been appointed to the Digital Additive Production (DAP) chair of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. He took up his post at the beginning of August, and has since then taken over management of Fraunhofer ILT’s Additive Manufacturing and Functional Layers department at the start of November.

Schleifenbaum will place his interdisciplinary work in the service of making application-oriented research available to industry, namely Fraunhofer ILT’s additive manufacturing network of industrial and academic partners.

The filling of the new DAP chair has rounded off the spectrum of additive manufacturing offered by the city of Aachen’s research and development landscape, which includes the Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing, the BMBF Research Campus DPP, the Aachen Center for 3D Printing and numerous other collaborations between science and industry. Through joint industrial projects, the DAP chair has been connected to Fraunhofer ILT, enabling the company and its partners to make use of university research and development results for industrial applications.

‘In addition to research and education, the applications and transfer of know-how into the industry are particularly important to me,’ stated Schleifenbaum. ‘The cooperative surroundings of the RWTH Aachen University, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and industrial partners will provide the ideal fertile ground for such developments. This way, we can sustainably strengthen the manufacturing industry and meet our obligations to our partners: generating viable solutions for them’.

With more than 100 employees, the Additive Manufacturing and Functional Layers department at Fraunhofer ILT, now led by Schleifenbaum, focuses on developing additive production process chains and making them available to the industry. These include, among others, the development of machines, the planning of additive manufacturing factories, the development of design and data tools for additive manufacturing, as well as comprehensive consulting services – ranging from component consulting all the way to business case assessment for the manufacturing industry.

‘I am excited by the challenge of contributing to the comprehensive training of “3D printing experts” in the future, so that this relatively young, but extremely exciting and promising technology can be developed even further at the university,’ commented Schleifenbaum on his new tasks. ‘At the same time, we can take this know-how and use it in the industry profitably. Also, I am looking forward to working with colleagues from Fraunhofer ILT and its associated chairs. Many of them I still know from former times in Aachen’.

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