Enabling functional 3D printed parts and products by development of innovative polymer additive manufacturing materials.
The goal of the Additive Manufacturing (AM) program is to accelerate innovation for our industrial partners and support their success in the market. We do this by developing and modifying polymer materials and printing processes to enable functional parts and products.
We improve and exploit the unique manufacturing freedom of AM which allows a high level of control of the material composition of a printed part. This creates the opportunity to make parts and products that have an integrated functionality which is hard to manufacture with existing production techniques.
Expertises, Capabilities and
We are strongly driven by industrial application challenges and our core competences are in polymer material expertise, additive manufacturing process know-how and computational materials modeling and simulations. In our labs we operate commercial 3D printers as well as 3D printers customized to our own specifications and design requirements. Being located at the Chemelot Brightlands Campus gives us access to a large field of materials science competences and facilities.
We have close connections with AMSYSTEMS Center and Holst Centre which are research centers for additive manufacturing equipment and flexible electronics respectively. We partner with Eindhoven University of Technology and University of Maastricht for our PhD and post-doc students who develop fundamental knowledge on additive manufacturing materials.
We focus on two research programs
Improvement of mechanical reinforcement of 3D printed parts is one of the current challenges in additive manufacturing to transition from prototypes to functional parts that meet similar requirements as for example injection molded parts do. A smartly designed part with embedded continuous fibers can improve mechanical strength where needed.
The embedding of for example continuous carbon fibers makes it possible to monitor how the structural integrity of a product – e.g. its deformation – changes over time by measuring the changes in the electrical resistance through the fibers in the composite part. In this way, delaminations, internal deformations and temperature profiles can be more accurately determined at positions in the part where that was not possible before.