In Accelerate³, project partners Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Centexbel, KULAK and TUA West join forces in the development of bio-based materials for Additive Manufacturing. In this way, the project supports the specific expertise and testing infrastructure with regard to 3D printing in Dutch Limburg and West Flanders.
As part of the project, 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 SME’s, 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 bio-based origins, for example polylactic acid (PLA).
One of the topics the researchers are interested in looking at is the characteristics of the interface phenomena between the layers applied using a 3D printer.Accelerate³ is a Brightlands project from Brightlands, Centexbel, KULAK and TUA West and is financed by the Interreg Flanders-Netherlands program.
The Accelerate³ project is estimated at € 2,347,070, of which € 911,338 is the Interreg subsidy from the Flanders-Netherlands program. The Interreg subsidy has a duration of three years.
Status Update Accelerate3 (d.d. 16-4-2018)
In the first year, the focus was placed on each partner on the elaboration of a plan of action for the planned investments. Both companies and knowledge institutions were involved in the selection process of the additive manufacturing technology to be purchased.
The first devices, The Freeformer 3D Printer was installed at Centexbel and the XPS device at the KULUK. The second series of devices - a Small and Wide Angle X-ray Scattering / Diffraction device at KULAK and a monofilament line at Centexbel, should soon be operational.
Begin of 2018, Chemelot Research Facilities has changed the scope of her project requested based on her new 3D print roadmap. The focus is on a further expansion of cooperation projects in the field of new / improved materials and research into the technical / commercial feasibility of 3D printing.
The operation of existing CRF printers is performed according to the following lines:
1. Cluster formation and SMEs, including cooperation with West Flanders
2. Support research activities
3. Pilot projects.
In 2018, the final project year, Accelerate³ will make full use of knowledge sharing on the use of materials in 3D printing applications, both between the project partners and towards SME’s. Brightlands Chemelot Campus takes the lead in this.
Status: April 2018