Leveraging 3D printing by sector wide collaboration

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Under the guidance of Flam3D, the Flemish cluster association for 3D printing, 27 Flemish companies and research institutions collaborate on the realization of ‘Family of the Future’. This will be a demonstration project aimed at clarifying what 3D printing technologies exist and how they can have real added value across a wide range of sectors.

3D printing was primarly used to make prototypes, but it is now effectively deployed for serial production. The largest customers are located in the medical world, and the aviation and automotive industry. The time when 3D printing was too expensive or too slow for industrial production is over. With ‘Family of the Future’, members of Flam3D also want to bring ideas to other companies and research institutions. With more than 90 printed components, ‘Family of the Future’ will show where and how 3D printing can be used in the context of family – but also the ‘factory’ – of the future. The project will therefore exhibit a wide range of techniques: from printed electronics to printed components in metal and ceramic materials.

Unique collaboration

Flanders is still at the top when it comes to innovation in 3D printing, and that’s not just technical. Thanks to this unique cooperation throughout the sector, the Flemish 3D printing organizations also show that they are a step ahead of foreign competition. Such intense cooperation between companies and research institutions is unseen in other sectors. The participating organizations represent a large part of the market, and their bundled expertise aims to emphasize one of the unique advantages of Flemish landscape: the strong network with close ties between different organizations.

“Co-creation adds value: What Additive Manufacturing really needs for the future is collaboration. A solution to a specific problem rarely lies within one single company,” says Kris Binon, General Director of Flam3D.

The project will be presented for the first time on November 8 at Prototyping 2017 in Kortrijk. The international premiere follows a week later on November 14 at the Formnext fair in Frankfurt.

Family of the Future is a creation of 27 leading companies and research institutions active in 3D printing: 3iD, AMT-Titastar, Aqtor!, Arteveldehogeschool, CADskills, deltaRocket, DSM Somos, ESMA, Formando, GC Europe, Howest, KU Leuven, LCV, Materialise, Raytech, Renishaw, Ricoh, RS Print, Sirris, Tenco DDM, Thomas More, Twikit, UC Leuven-Limburg, UGent, Velleman, VUB and Vives.
The realization is initiated by Flam3D, and Vives.