Meet our new PhD student Jeroen Knippenberg at AMSYSTEMS Center. During his mechanical engineering bachelor and master studies at the TU/e, he developed a passion for the engineering of high tech materials in challenging environments. This passion has enabled him to work for example on lightweight carbon fiber composite structures in racing cars and from 1 July 2017 in the challenging field of industrial additive manufacturing. Within this field Jeroen sees an opportunity to enhance his skills as an engineer and researcher while contributing to the advancement of the industrial applicability of additive manufacturing.
For the upcoming 4 years Jeroen will be focusing his fundamental research, which is part of the European Hyb-Man project, on hybrid 3D manufacturing methods for multi-material products with integrated electronic components. The goal of the methods is to enable flexible first time right production of smart systems for lighting and automotive products. “Currently the combination of multiple materials and multiple functionalities into a single AM product significantly increases the complexity of the production process,” Jeroen explains. “To be able to manufacture such products first-time-right,” Jeroen continues, “a thorough understanding of the relation between process parameters on one hand and intrinsic material properties and functionalities on the other hand is required.” For example it is important to understand the relation between sintering temperature of a conductive track and the corresponding electrical resistance. The possible track sintering temperature can be limited because of the use of other materials less resistant to temperature in the hybrid product, while the track resistance specification still has to be met. The research of Jeroen is to get this understanding by providing design rules for the hybrid 3D manufacturing process, based on the obtained insight in the process.
“The goal of the methods is to enable flexible first time right production of smart systems”
Approach and challenges
His research starts with identifying individual input-output relations between process parameters and material properties. Then the relations will be studied by various numerical models and experimental material characterization. These models, each representing a small part of the production process, will be combined in a design structure matrix (DSM) and system optimization techniques will be used to identify the opportunities and constraints in the hybrid manufacturing process. Jeroen foresees a challenge in creating suitable numerical models for the additive manufacturing process, as the models are generally new for this industry. Another challenge is the effort of creating an overview in the large parameter space with these different relations. Two challenges that Jeroen is eager to take up.
Cost effectiveness and meeting rapid changing requirement
Jeroen hopes successfully to develop a 3D hybrid manufacturing process that allows local production of highly personalized electronic products without the need for product specific tooling and large stock of parts or products. “Advantages of such process is the cost effectiveness of the production of the small series and rapid changing in requirements from the market can be accounted,” Jeroen says.
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