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Printing Electro-Tomography

Project description

Optimised and cost-effective 3D printing

3D printing has taken the world by storm with the market expected to top 16.5 million euro by the end of 2022. Despite its growth, challenges exist. Equipment and product costs are high and printing speed is inversely proportional to accuracy. As it is difficult to get real-time, in situ feedback, defects are not easily monitored and quality potentially compromised. The EU-funded PET project is developing a cost-effective way to help with quality issues. It will use electrical impedance measurements during the printing process along with conductively doped material to get real-time feedback during the printing process. PET says this method could be implemented on a wider scale, with faster and higher quality prints hitting the market.


3D printing is literally building our future in realising components and parts which cannot either be manufactured with standard techniques (milling, lathing) or for which the scale does not justify the use of molding techniques which require longer time and are only convenient for a high production scale. The problem with current 3D printing is the tradeoff between speed and precision: if we want to print fast in additive manufacturing, it is more difficult to know what physically happens with the deposition, and increasing speed is always at the cost of precision. This is mostly due to the fact that the deposition process is basically in Open Loop. Currently there is a strong demand for in-situ measurement techniques to enable real time feedback, where the newest camera based techniques only allow for measurements on the outer surface of prints. The proposed innovation wants to create real time feedback by using easily implementable electrical impedance measurements during the printing process together with conductively doped material, measuring multipoint impedances among points on the substrate and the nozzle to possibly realize a tomographic description of the print. This intrinsically cheap method can be used pervasively and has ground breaking potential for both the professional and consumer 3D printing market. Prints will be of higher quality, printing will be faster and losses will be reduced. This will increase the usability, reliability and throughput of 3D printing which are the major concerns in this manufacturing technology for both the professional and the consumer market. The idea has been patented and industry has already confirmed strong interest. With the support of the ERC-PoC, the PI and his multidisciplinary team will be able to address the questions still to be answered in close collaboration with the industrial partner Ultimaker in order to address the correct scientific questions needed for a successful transfer to market.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
7522 NB Enschede

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Oost-Nederland Overijssel Twente
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)