Research project:

Ocamos  --  Optimized Carbon-fiber-reinforced Additive-Manufacturing Of load-oriented Structures (I3 Project)

Development of optimized design and production processes for continuously fiber-reinforced composite structures for use in the reinforcement, repair and production of lightweight components using 3D printing

Research area: Freeform 3D printing, fiber composite materials, load-based manufacturing
Funded by: I3 Program of the TUHH
In collaboration with: Institut für Strukturmechanik im Leichtbau (TUHH)
Start of the project: January 2022
End of the project: December 2023


With the ongoing development of 3D printing and new materials, there is the possibility of producing components with amazing strength properties at very low weight. A significant limitation of the classical manufacturing processes of fiber composite components such as automated fiber placement or sheet lamination is the high effort required for complex geometries. Components with high curvature or small-sized elements often cannot be manufactured using these processes. With the help of pre-impregnated filaments, 3D printing of continuously fiber-reinforced plastics could now close this gap. However, for this promising combination to be successful, there is a lack of process knowledge and software to implement the large number of novel ideas.

The project, funded by the I3 program at Hamburg University of Technology, aims to provide solutions to this deficiency and to break new ground. The explicit focus is on the conception and implementation of a load-oriented software solution that automatically constructs a component from specified load cases and plans a robot path. This means that production can be carried out quickly and with load-optimized results. Furthermore, the aim is to dynamically print partial structures onto existing components in order to expand the range of applications even further. Path planning on free-form surfaces is therefore the focus of the research work within the project.

The greatest challenges are the divergent and turbulent fields of the load case analysis, the unique material properties of the fiber filaments and the embedding of the large number of sub-processes in a coherent framework. Furthermore, the manufacturing enablement, the multi-dimensional path planning and topology optimization taking into account the anisotropy of the materials Tasks to be named.

In the previous EpoxySpacePrinter project, the production system was already validated and the process and material were examined in order to enable holistic considerations of the manufacturing process in the future and to be able to verify new ideas experimentally.


Responsible at the institute: Johann Kipping, M.Sc.