Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Centexbel and KULAK and TUA West have entered into a cross-border partnership in the field of 3D printing of (biobased) materials. This project involves EUR 3M, EUR 1.3M of which is provided by a subsidy from the Interreg program between Flanders and the Netherlands.
As part of the project, Brightlands Chemelot Campus and Centexbel will purchase 3D printers, and so-called characterization equipment will be installed at KULAK. The principle aim of the project is to connect business clusters and to provide third parties, including SMEs, with the equipment and the production and materials knowledge developed in the process.
The project will also focus on optimizing the 3D printing process of materials for different applications. Most of the printing will involve plastics of biobased origins, for example polylactic acid (PLA). Brightlands Chemelot Campus will receive EUR 620,000 of the EUR 1.3M subsidy from the Interreg program between Flanders and the Netherlands which has been granted to this 3D printing project. Subsidies of this kind are granted by the European Commission to cross-border projects. The Interreg subsidy has a term of three years, during which TUA West will act as the lead agency on behalf of the Province of West Flanders.
As part of this project, three 3D printers are being installed, namely an SLS printer and a jetting printer at Brightlands Chemelot Campus and an FDM printer at Centexbel. In Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), laser light is used to sinter the printing material, whereas in jetting, UV light is used to cure the printing material.