Fontys Centre of Expertise High-Tech Systems & Materials (CoE HTSM) will open the newly purchased metal printer to companies from outside the institution. Students, instructor researchers and employees of these companies will work together with the Trumpf TruPrint 1000. This enables them to discover the latest applications in 3D printing.

“Fontys noticed in her contacts with the manufacturing industry in Southeast Brabant that there is a great need for research into the practical applications of 3D metal printing”, says 3D print expert Rein van der Mast. Well-known applications to date are in the medical industry (implants) and the machine industry, for which parts can be custom-made. “However, there are only a handful of metal printers in the country. And there are many more companies, certainly in this Brainport region, that are wondering whether 3D metal printing – also known as additive manufacturing – can have added value to them. Apart from the theory, we can now also show them the practice.”

The Trumpf TruPrint 1000 is often used to print small, complex components. Fontys chose this machine because it is a compact machine that is fast at manufacturing low-volume workpieces while being sufficiently representative of large metal printers. “It’s important to us that you have a quick result. We can now examine in a short time all kinds of variables that influence the workpiece, including their interaction. Here we have all kinds of facilities to test the printed pieces”, says Van der Mast.

The machine is also being used within the framework of the Open Learning Labs that the Centre of Expertise HTSM will launch shortly. Via e-learning, companies can increase their expertise in the field of robotics, additive manufacturing/3D printing and agromechatronics. The lessons learned are put into practice in physical labs, including those around the new metal printer. Fontys HTSM also offers (short-term) training courses in combination with Topology Optimization, Design for Additive Manufacturing, Post Processing and Materials.