ThinKing November 2015: Plastic 3D printing from development through to the final product –



Hasenauer & Hesser offers complete and integrated solutions for the cost-efficient mass production of light laser sintered parts

Additive manufacturing processes open up previously undreamed design possibilities and thus great potential for lightweight technology. 3D printing also provides many new cost-effective and time-saving options for prototyping. The Ötisheim-based company Hasenauer & Hesser works with series as well as functional plastic parts using selective laser sintering (SLS). Hasenauer & Hesser provides all-round consulting services, from structural design through to the final product to help customers reduce weight and cut costs.

The Development Agency for Lightweighting Baden-Württemberg presents this innovation in the November edition of its ThinKing. Leichtbau BW GmbH uses this label to showcase excellent lightweight technology products and services from Baden-Württemberg.

As a technology partner of many years standing and with profound design know-how Hasenauer & Hesser is able to demonstrate the opportunities and benefits, as well as limits, of laser sintering technology. “Our work begins long before the production of construction elements in our company,” explains company founder Hans-Jörg Hesser. The consulting input begins by focusing on the process and the technologically appropriate design, optimum materials and optional finishing steps.

An important contribution is made by an associated engineering firm which demonstrates to customers what they need to change, for example, in order to produce volume components cost efficiently. As a full-service provider with a large machine pool, the company produces prototypes, exhibition models or demonstration pieces as well as series parts. Hasenauer & Hesser also offers a range of finishing processes and services.

“Our approach: 100 per cent series and functional parts. This makes us almost unique in the SLS field,” says marketing manager Alexander Polte, who stresses that 3D laser sintering produces excellent quality which shows itself, for example, in the mechanical properties used for everyday production purposes. The company, which started up as an engineering firm over twelve years ago, also offers training for designers. There is still a lot which needs to be learned about what additive manufacturing - and selective lasering sintering in particular - is capable of, emphasises Alexander Polte. This is especially so in the field of lightweight technology.

With SLS, and other 3D printing techniques, any three-dimensional designs can be created in a single step without tools. This makes it possible to implement previously inconceivable designs and to save material and weight in the process. Even undercuts, internal functional elements or the most complex of structures can be made – although with H&H in particular, complexity does not entail additional costs.

"Practically any product idea can be turned into reality with laser sintering,” insists Polte. Ready-to-use components can be manufactured for any industry with laser sintering technology. It is not only prototypes which can be rapidly and precisely produced by means of laser sintering. "The flexibility of laser sintering-based rapid manufacturing allows ready-to-use components to be produced economically in volumes from one to a thousand without incurring any tool costs,” explains the marketing manager.

In terms of quantities and costs, it is important in additive manufacturing that the very best use is made of the construction space. Depending on the size of a component it is possible to produce several thousand parts per order.

The people at Hasenauer & Hesser are convinced that SLS is revolutionising the manufacturing process as it now possible to freely form material with all the huge potential this offers for lightweight engineering. “Compared to conventional processes it is usually possible to reduce weight by 50 percent and to use much less material,” says marketing manager Polte. Combined with bionics, the additive process offers “immense” potential.


About Hasenauer & Hesser GmbH

Founded in 2004, Hasenauer & Hesser very quickly established itself as a design and engineering service provider. The company also manufactures and markets special valves. In 2008 it added a third strand of business in the shape of laser sintering production. Company founders Frank Hasenauer and Hans-Jörg Hesser also attached great importance from the very start to advising customers about rapid manufacturing technology.

Information box: Selective lasering sintering

Selective laser sintering is an additive manufacturing layer technology. A layer of powdered material is applied to the base plate in the machine and pre-heated to around 170°C. The laser beam then melts the layer according to 3D CAD data. The base plate is then lowered a little (typically by 0.1 to 0.12 mm) and a new power layer is added and heated. This is then also melted by the laser according to the SLI data and at the same times fused with the previous layer of material. As the components are built up layer by layer, internal structures and undercuts as well as nested varying components can be made in a single operation.