The aim of the AMKES project is to provide proof of the feasibility of making functional components using standard 3D printers in a quality comparable to injection molded parts. In this way the cost of manufacturing small batches of parts compared to the injection molding process can be reduced by around 80%.
By improving the material properties and optimizing the printing process, the mechanical properties of printed components are to be brought to the quality level of the injection molding process. Components of similar quality are produced in small batches, for which the injection molding process is not economical due to the relatively high costs of creating molds.
The Fused Deposition Modeling Method (FDM) is a widespread 3D printing process. Thermoplastics such as PLA and ABS are very often processed into components with comparatively low mechanical properties with regard to stiffness and strength. Due to process-related inhomogeneities such as air inclusions due to lack of layer adhesion, the overall mechanical quality is reduced compared to the injection molding process.