3D printing, more generically known as additive manufacturing, is rapidly expanding and can be subdivided in many 3D printing technologies including Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), Digital Light Processing (DLP) and jetting. By means of these technologies all kinds of products can be printed without the need of (expensive and less sustainable) assembling techniques. However, the market provides only a limited choice of printing materials. An innovative development of these materials is needed, especially in the field of bio-based polymers, as a sustainable variant.
‘Accelerate³’ desires to unite the specific expertise of the Dutch province of Limburg and the Flemish province of Occidental Flanders to bundle the necessary knowledge and testing infrastructure. Both regions represent this sector and have a similar economic fabric that mainly consists of small and medium-sized companies. They also face identical challenges and are active in a similar field, with complementary specialisations. The cross border collaboration between both regions offers thus an ideal opportunity to substantially broaden their knowledge and networking.
This cross-border clustering will enable the growth of the SME's in both regions. Several sectors (materials, manufacturers and software companies) will benefit from 'Accelerate³'.