Who is part of the founding team and who is responsible for what tasks or has what set of skills?
- Sarah Müller
- studied mechanical engineering at the University of Stuttgart, specializing in materials science and technology management, dissertation in the field of additive manufacturing with metallic materials at the University of Stuttgart
- tasks: scientific basis, material qualification
- Georg Pröpper
- mechatronics with a specialization in electrical engineering at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences
- tasks: electronics, software and hardware development
- Friedrich Bähr
- studied industrial engineering at the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences in Jena specializing in industrial production, master's degree in entrepreneurship at the Universidad de Barcelona, PhD in the field of quality assurance in fused deposition modeling
- tasks: organization marketing, finance
A brief description
Components from the FDM 3D printing process are subject to low strength in Z-orientation, which often leads to failure. infrar3D addresses this problem by developing a laser preheating technology for the FDM process. As a result, layers bond better together and strength in the build direction is increased by more than 100%. The technology can be used to manufacture components with high mechanical property requirements in industrial contexts such as aerospace.
The background of the developement
Georg developed extensive expertise and interest in 3D printers, ranging from numerous development projects in the FDM process to specially designed and manufactured printers. Friedrich has been working full-time on additive processes since 2013, in addition to private use as part of his PhD. Sarah has also been working on her PhD thesis on layering processes since 2014. During her time at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA), she shared an office with Friedrich. During that time, the two worked together on various projects. Their joint scientific work forms the foundation for the theory-based development in the infrar3D project.
For several years, Georg and Friedrich have been meeting to exchange experiences on 3D printing topics. Friedrich from the research side, Georg from the user side. Georg was regularly confronted with failing components when manufacturing complex parts. One component of Friedrich's dissertation addresses failures in the FDM process and their causes. He was convinced of the potential in using laser preheating. The idea for infrar3D was born. Sarah followed the idea with enthusiasm and was soon part of the team.
What was the biggest challenge for you last year?
Work situation due to the Corona pandemic (no public premises usable, various delays, childcare)
Tips for founders / What would you do differently today?
It is important that the fronts are clearly clarified from the outset. Where is the journey to go? Align the larger goals and the original drive of the respective founders. In addition, clarify fundamental questions: Who takes care of what? Who has what decision-making power? How much is one willing to invest (weekend work, always available, etc.)? By aligning the positions, the foundations for a fruitful collaboration are laid.
Supporters of the project
Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauernhansl, Institute of Industrial Manufacturing and Management, University of Stuttgart
Junge Innovatoren: July 2021 to June 2022
Area of application
Industrial manufacturing, lightweight construction, product customization
Dr. Friedrich Bähr: firstname.lastname@example.org