In the spotlight: Thomas Hafkamp

Thomas Hafkamp is one of the first doctoral students who has begun at the AMSYSTEMS Center. Following his TU/e Master at the department of Mechanical Engineering (specializing in Control Systems Technology, graduating in the design principles group), he began his PhD research for the AMSYSTEMS Center on 1 March 2016.

“AM equipment has to be scaled up to larger product formats and higher product quality if the needs of high-tech industry are to be met. To be able to achieve this we have to investigate modeling, measurement and control in industrial AM processes,” Thomas explains. “The AMSYSTEMS Center has defined two PhD assignments for the additive production of high-grade ceramic products, each concentrated on one of these three aspects,” Thomas continues. The third assignment is focused on fluid dynamics.

Tackle challenges
“My research is geared to the control side of the print process and the aim of my research is to develop new equipment concepts and integrated control architectures.” The challenge faced by Thomas in his research is the simultaneous scaling up of the three characteristics of AM equipment: from its current small format to industrial scale, to boost the product quality and reproducibility, and to increase production speed. “To further develop AM technology new concepts need to be generated on the basis of a holistic, systematic approach that is able to tackle these challenges (scalability, quality, productivity) at one and the same time,” Thomas clarifies.

Cross-fertilization
The collaboration between TNO and TU/e HTSC is already very noticeable and will become ever more evident. “Given the powerful multidisciplinary nature of additive manufacturing, there is plenty of potential for cross-fertilization between and perhaps even within the two organizations. It’s something I already see happening during the regular meetings of the AMSYSTEMS Center.”