Jonas, you studied physics. One might think of complex formulas and theories, but not primarily of additive manufacturing. How is it that you are now working precisely in this field?
I decided to study physics and specialize in elementary particle physics because I wanted to understand what holds the universe together at its core. This knowledge became partially available to me in the master’s program at RWTH Aachen University. However, when choosing my master’s thesis, I decided to solve a real – and not too abstract – problem for once. That’s how I encountered the “Integration of the free boundary value problem in laser build-up welding” at the Fraunhofer ILT and learned how to model physical subprocesses, formulate them in a numerically solvable way and simulate them, to obtain quite good approximate solutions. Suddenly, the world was not only mathematically describable but also solvable to a certain extent!
So, you work (mostly) with simulation. What exactly do you simulate at the DAP Chair?
I simulate almost all aspects or sub-steps that occur in Additive Manufacturing. Besides the “classical” melt pool simulation for a rough parameter pre-selection or the determination of the solidification conditions, the microstructure, or the component distortion, I also try to improve the design of products for Additive Manufacturing and the subsequent application together with my colleagues.
Do you also develop software to improve digital processes?
In fact, I develop software to improve physical processes, such as the manufacturing of a component or the process strategy, for example, to prevent local overheating in the LPBF.