3D Printed Powerpack


Additive manufacturing offers extensive possibilities for component optimization in fluid technology, whether it is minimizing the flow losses or increasing the power density. The potentials of this production technology for fluid technology have not been researched much at present. This is why ifas has set itself the goal of using the example of a highly integrated power pack to find out the possibilities offered by the production process. For this purpose, the drive part of an electro-hydraulic axle (EHA) is designed and manufactured ready for production and then measured on the test bench. The benchmark is a conventionally manufactured drive for small batch sizes.



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  • Functional integration
  • Reduced weight and installation space
  • Reduction of the assembly steps
  • Easy availability of spare parts


  • Fewer components
  • Flow and topology optimization
  • Elimination of sealing points and adapters
  • Materials efficient production, if necessary even after the end of series production


The aim of the research project is to develop a highly compact hydraulic drive by means of function integration and additive manufacturing. The hydraulic pump and any valves are to be combined in one housing component. At this point, the principle and procedure in the design process will be demonstrated using an application scenario from fluid technology, which includes highly toleranced and continuously moving components. Additive manufacturing offers the possibility to produce components close to the final contour and enables geometries that cannot be produced subtractively. All cavities and channels can be manufactured with optimised flow. Functional integration eliminates all adapter flanges and topology optimization allows for a minimization of installation space requirements.


Application Scenario

Demonstrator Copyright: © ifas

At ifk2018, ifas presented a hydraulic labyrinth that is driven by two electro-hydraulic axes and can be played in a smartphone using tilt sensors. In order to reduce the required installation space of the drives, the drives are redesigned to be significantly more compact by means of additive manufacturing. The pump and peripherals are merged into a single component.


Development Process

AM Pump CAD Copyright: © ifas

The dimensioning took place using standard CAE tools. The following steps were carried out:

  • Rough design in CAD
  • Flow optimization with CFD
  • Topology optimization with FEM
  • Geometry smoothing and export to the machine

The Finished Conversion

AM Pump Components Copyright: © ifas

The Powerpack was manufactured on an EOS M 290, necessary rework was done manually or by using a conventional CNC milling machine. The gear set of the pump unit was manufactured conventionally, as additive manufacturing does not offer any advantages here. Pressure relief and check valves were also taken from the series.



Title Author(s)
Design and experimental investigation of an additive manufactured compact drive Design and experimental investigation of an additive manufactured compact drive
Contribution to a conference proceedings (2020)
Matthiesen, Gunnar Matthiesen, Gunnar (Corresponding author)
Merget, Daniel Merget, Daniel
Pietrzyk, Tobias Pietrzyk, Tobias
Ziegler, Stephan Ziegler, Stephan
Schleifenbaum, Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum, Johannes Henrich
Schmitz, Katharina Schmitz, Katharina