Robots: Humans' Dependable Helpers

Research and Development in Robotic Systems

Rapid Prototyping with Robots

Generation of Prototypes with Industrial Robots (ROBO|GEN)

As part of the ROBO|GEN research project, model and mold making technologies are being developed, which rapidly and cost effectively produce large and complex near net shape models and prototypes by combining industrial robots and generative manufacturing methods (i.e. rapid prototyping methods):

  • Lamination of models and prototypes by a robot-guided applicator head, taking advantage of industrial robots’ working area and high flexibility.
  • Development of a special applicator system with high material throughput to produce large-volume models.
  • Making of models with variable thicknesses of layers in conjunction with variable materials, differing material application and optimal support structure.
  • Use of flexible robotic systems to integrate other applications, e.g. to apply harder edge layers, to rework/mill surfaces that are especially dimensionally stable, to assemble individual models or attach additional elements to the models (e.g. temperature sensors or RFID chips).
  • Integration of data processing during production and access to common 3-D datasets from the CAD model through data processing for model and mold making up through control of the robot.
© Fraunhofer IFF
© Fraunhofer IFF
© Fraunhofer IFF

This novel manufacturing system expedites lamination considerably and minimizes material use. 3D CAD data provides the basis to directly produce large and complex models without intermediate steps that consume money, material and time. Thus, the technology unleashes substantial potential to optimize model making operations.

This project is being supported by the Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Economics and Labor Sachsen-Anhalt and, the project sponsor, the Investitionsbank Sachsen-Anhalt.

Project partner

  • Modell- und Formenbau GmbH Sachsen-Anhalt (Project coordinator)
  • Fraunhofer IFF, Magdeburg