General information

Started: 01/04/2013
Theme: Durable & Sustainable Structural Materials
Program manager: Tom Craeghs (Materialise)

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All about Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing (AM), more commonly known as 3D printing, is a technology whereby materials (such as polymers, metals, concrete) are joined layer upon layer to produce end-use parts from 3D model data. AM offers many advantages towards design freedom, customized product manufacturing with light-weight features and more complex geometries comparing to parts produced via conventional technologies. The AM-process comprises not only the printing process, but also the development of suited AM-materials and tools for design of AM.

Post treatments, as Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) and surface finishing can improve the AM-end product properties (such as higher density, increased fatigue resistance).

3D design

The STREAM consortium consists of industrial partners from different segments of the AM value chain: material producers, AM-technology companies, software developers, companies with post-processing & funtionalisation expertise and end-users of different market segments (aerospace, medical, PVC-products). The latter are very important to define the required AM – end product features.

All knowledge centers in Flanders with scientific and technological expertise concerning Additive Manufacturing are involved in the STREAM-consortium to strenghten the knowledge build-up in the AM-project consortia together with industrial partners.

3D Printing
SLM process
3D Printing



In this project the influence of small material defects/variations, induced during the 3D printing process, on the structural performance of the printed parts will be examined via fast non-destructive vibration resonance monitoring methods. As a result, there will be a better understanding of the relation between the printing parameter variability and the final material quality.


For 3D printing technologies, it is generally assumed that these are more durable than conventional technologies, due to a lower amount of material required for the printed pieces. But there is still no demonstrable evidence based on clear criteria and data. The overall objective of the GreenAM project is to develop more sustainable AM processes, that use less energy and material.


In the METAMOULD ICON project novel metal additive manufacturing (Laser Powder Bed Fusion) processes and innovative post-processing techniques for mould applications will be studied. The overall objective is to enable personalized moulds with longer lifetime, better cooling capacity and locally produced with shorter lead times compared to the actual commercial moulds.


In the ALMA project the goal is to examine whether critical aerospace components, manufactured by means of Additive Manufacturing (Powder Bed Fusion) processing of metal powders (TiAl alloy, high strength stainless steel) can comply with the aerospace class 2 product specifications. Post treatments will be applied to enhance the mechanical features and surface quality.


Progressing the state-of-the-art of extrusion-based 3D printing production chain based on the requirements from large, structural applications. The project partners want to establish fundamental know-how to develop an economically viable production chain for extrusion-based additive manufacturing of small series of large structural thermoplastic products.


There are three main concerns regarding the materials available for Laser Sintering (LS), which at this moment block the full potential of this 3D printing technology. The purpose is to add new materials for LS. This will allow for the first time to start-up material production for Additive Manufacturing in Flanders and to increase the capabilities of the manufacturing industry.


The goal of this project is to apply recent advances and developments in fundamental material research for additive manufactured materials in the search for a fully customised and usable 3D printed Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO). AFO-designs are based on trial & error and extensive evaluations by orthopedists. Using FE models for AFO-designing will result in better insights.


The focus of the Expamet ICON project is to improve the productivity of the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process on two lightweight alloys. Additionally, the project will look at ways to improve the final product quality for parts made in the selected alloys by process monitoring and improving repeatability of the process and post-processing.


The main objective of the Polyforce SBO project is to identify new polymers suitable for shaping using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS): 95% of all Selective Laser Sintering parts are currently manufactured from polyamide 12 (PA12). The project has three milestones that serve as a guide to increase the development speed of new polymeric products for SLS.


To produce mechanical parts using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) of polymers, the porosity and anisotropy of such parts still has to be improved. By optimizing process technology (monitoring, hardware and post-processing technology) this project aims at increasing density to a level that parts are reached with comparable mechanical properties as injection molded parts.

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