Lightweight construction using light as a tool (Source: Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen / Volker Lannert)
Fast, high-precision tools that make it possible to manufacture individualized and complex products will be a key element in the industrial manufacturing of the future. Light is a tool that can be applied and controlled more precisely than any other. A laser beam is the only tool that “works” as fast as a computer “thinks”. The Digital Photonic Production (DPP) Research Campus is setting out to develop new methods and fundamental physical effects for using light as a production tool.
“From Bits to Photons to Atoms” aptly describes the paradigm of photon-based production. The research campus would like to explore the opportunities for photon-based production with regard to the future challenges of mobility, energy, health and information and communication technologies. Exemplary applications of light in the manufacturing sector include the laser-based manufacturing of functional, resource-optimized metallic components from digital data using 3D printers or the large-scale imprint of extremely fine structures on functional surfaces using special lasers, so-called high-performance short-pulse lasers.
Several institutes of RWTH Aachen and Fraunhofer are cooperating with various companies, especially SMEs, under one roof at the research campus. This close cooperation means that everyone involved can share not only equipment and facilities but also results and risks. By participating in the research campus, the industrial partners also have the opportunity to profit from training measures offered by RWTH Aachen. Members of their staff can take part in initial and continuing training programmes offered by RWTH Aachen and gain qualifications up to PhD level. In turn, university training benefits from the systematic involvement of industry and the increased practical relevance of the work being performed.
The heart of the DPP Research Campus is the new “DPP Industry Building” on the RWTH’s Melaten site, which was opened in 2016 and where the partners of the research campus can rent office accommodation and laboratories. Furthermore, the partners also have joint laboratory and open-space areas at their disposal. These are intended to encourage exchanges between staff members and support the systematic process of invention and innovation.
Digital Photonic Production (DPP) Research Campus
This flyer is about the Digital Photonic Production (DPP) Research Campus in Aachen. It is one of nine inserts that complement the brochure entitled “Research Campus Funding Initiative”. The DPP Research Campus aims to develop new techniques to use light as a tool in manufacturing.