Additive manufacturing processes such as Laser Beam Melting (LBM) or Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) offer the advantage of tool-free, near net shape production of complex geometries. The production of geometrically complex, topology-optimized components up to small batches is particularly interesting for aerospace, medical technology, tooling industry and increasingly for the automotive industry. Despite the variety of advantages, additive manufacturing processes are still slow to enter industrial production. The main reasons for this are relatively long production times and therefore high production costs.
In contrast to additive manufacturing, high quantities can be produced in a short time during die-casting. Among other things, this is due to the very high mold filling speed of up to 12 m/s and the associated short cycle time of only a few minutes per component. However, the high productivity is also associated with disadvantages. Components of higher complexity with undercuts and cooling channels are not or only partially produced and require elaborate molds. High mechanical requirements, wear on impact of the melt and temperature fluctuations result in expensive die casting molds. In addition, only one component geometry can be produced with one mold.
The project "CastAutoGen", funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the joint project AGENT-3D, has set itself the goal of combining additive manufacturing with die-casting to form a novel, hybrid production chain and use the advantages of both processes optimally. Simply shaped, large-volume areas are die-casted due to time and cost reasons. Functionalized or highly complex component areas are produced additively.
The hybrid production will be explained in this paper in two different scenarios. Scenario 1 describes the way of inserting and fitting additively fabricated parts into a unitary mold while Scenario 2 explaining how to create additive structures on a unitary die-cast component by LMD.
Destructive and non-destructive testing methods should demonstrate the properties of hybrid test specimens.