Additive Manufacturing (AM) is an enabling technology that can profoundly impact a wide variety of industries. It allows the production of complex, integrated, and customised products in a timely and cost-effective way. However, limitations in materials and systems are preventing companies from taking AM from prototype to application. TNO aims to accelerate application-driven development in AM and to develop world-class AM technology and products.
In industries ranging from medical and dental to free-form electronics, AM offers the opportunity to create ground-breaking new applications and products. The ability to customise manufacturing, to create multi-material products or parts with material gradients provides opportunities that are almost unthinkable in standard production. But two fundamental barriers prevent the acceleration of market adoption: material performance of printed parts (particularly mechanical properties) and system performance for ‘first-time right' mass-customisation.
TNO accelerates developments in AM through improvements in both the materials and equipment ecosystems. The materials ecosystem at the Brightlands Material Center aims to advance material properties, with a short-term focus on improving mechanical properties. The goal of the ecosystem at the High Tech Systems Centre is to advance system concepts for high-speed hybrid integration and multi-material mass customisation, including high-speed laser-diode array thermal and photo-polymerisation AM.
TNO contributes to advancements in AM throughout the entire lifecycle and value chain. We help companies define roadmaps and identify specific needs. We offer multiple levels of support – from IT to data flows, from process control to virtual models, all the way to the production of small-scale, specialised modules and proof-of-concept systems for mass-customisation.
To accomplish our goals, we rely on three pillars of support. First, TNO’s own knowledge, resources and facilities are a foundation upon which all AM activities are based. From research to testing to production, we offer complete services to accelerate innovation. Second, we have a distinguished track record in the development of next-generation AM technology, through innovations and technology transfers. Third, our extensive network of industry and academic partners provides the external knowledge and support needed to ensure the best results.
TNO’s own research and development has resulted in new technologies, an abundance of Intellectual Property and numerous patents. But we also rely on effective collaborations to advance AM objectives. We partner with industry experts, whether in B2B co-creation projects, or in national or international collaborations. In addition to these partnerships, TNO also initiated the Smart Industry Field Lab (MultiltM3D).
Our strategic partnerships with academia are breeding grounds for innovation and create incubation possibilities for new ventures.
Do you have a business challenge that can be solved with AM? Does your ambition involve practical application of AM technology? Contact Erwin Meinders to find out how we can help.