Project Description

Key information
NWO/TTW Perspectief funding: € 2.8 Million
Total budget: € 4.1 Million
Duration: 60 months
FTEs: 8PhD, 2PD and 5 PDEng

The AiM2XL programme is focused on metal-based additive manufacturing for the construction of large three-dimensional components by means of laser and/or arc welding. Application of these technologies to large-scale constructions poses a number of scientific and technological challenges, as well as providing novel opportunities for Dutch manufacturing industry.

M2i together with TU Delft and RAMLAB initiated an ambitious, fundamental research programme designed to remove the barriers limiting the full exploitation of the wire/laser based additive manufacturing and catapult Dutch industry into the forefront of additive manufacturing technology for large metal parts. Aim2XL is co-funded by TTW Perspectief program of Dutch national funding agency NWO.

Material centric approach
Traditionally, part construction is approached from a processing perspective. In the AiM2XL programme, we propose a material centric approach, in which design for properties plays a key role. Such an approach is not unique to large-scale structures, but is crucial at the large scale due to the relatively high heat inputs involved and the influence of macro–scale property gradients inherent in the deposited materials. A materials focus requires a sound understanding of the link between the thermal cycle and mechanical loading history of a component, which in turn determines the microstructure and resultant metallurgical, electrical and mechanical properties.

The programme involves six closely related research projects at four universities addressing three major research lines:

  1. Optimisation;
  2. Microstructure prediction and control;
  3. Microstructure – mechanical property relationships.

Optimization involves the development of models capable of optimising shape and properties for a target application as well as models for process control to ensure that the design can be successfully manufactured.

Prediction and control of the microstructure, based upon the thermal and mechanical history of every volume element within a component is required to support the optimisation models.

It is essential to establish clear predictive links between local microstructures and resultant properties in order to create the desired properties at the appropriate location within a component.

AiM2XL will accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing technologies across the value chain, exploiting advantages in terms of:

  • Reducing lead times, storage and transportation costs;
  • Rapid prototyping;
  • Producing more sustainable designs with previously impossible geometries;
  • Reduced defect and scrap rates;
  • Developing new and enhanced functionalities.


The scientific content of the programme is managed by Professor Fred van Keulen from Delft University of Technology in collaboration with the universities of Eindhoven, Groningen and Twente. M2i and RAMLAB have aligned significant industrial participation across the entire value chain for wire and laser-based additive manufacturing, including: Air Liquide B.V., Allseas, Autodesk, Damen, Element Materials Technology, Fokker Technologies Holding B.V., Heerema Fabrication Group, Huisman, Jungle, Lincoln Electric B.V., Lloyd’s Register EMEA, MX3D, OCAS NV, Shell, Trumpf Nederland B.V., Valk Welding B.V. and VandeGrijp International Gear Suppliers B.V.

Contact Person M2i

Dr. Ir. Viktoria Savran
Dr. Ir. Viktoria SavranProgram Manager


Aim2XL program started

July 5th, 2018|

The kick off meeting of the NWO Perspectief program “Additive Manufacturing for Extra Large Metal Components (AiM2XL)” took place on 15th June at the premises of Ramlab in Rotterdam. Thirty four participants from industry and