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The disruptive 3D printing technology Hot Lithography with highperformance polymers for the Additive Manufacturing of spare parts and small series of functional parts

Project description

Hot new 3D printing process for spare parts

Replacing automotive or aerospace parts can be tough as parts are expensive and difficult to find. One solution to this emergency procurement challenge is additive manufacturing (AM) technologies that build objects from 3D model data. It can be used for generating customised or obsolete parts to save both time and money. The EU-funded Hot Lithography project will bring to market the first cost-efficient polymer AM solution that produces components with sufficiently good overall material quality to fulfil industrial requirements. It is based on Cubicure’s Hot Lithography technology that allows the processing of high-performance photopolymers with outstanding precision. The project will develop a completely integrated procurement solution beginning from the digitalisation of the original part.


Individualised and complex parts increase the challenge of spare part procurement. Currently, it is a huge problem to maintain costly appliances, like trains or complex machines, if there are no more spare parts stocked and the original supplier fails. Additive manufacturing (AM) can solve these problems and produce small batches cost-efficient, with short lead times, and without individualised tools. Unfortunately, conventional AM methods are limited in their technical and economic capabilities. There has been no polymer AM solution on the market which is cost-efficient and produces components with sufficiently good overall material quality to fulfil industrial requirements.
Cubicure’s Hot Lithography now meets these demands. By using highly viscous, high-performance photopolymers, unmet material properties are achieved. The patented printing technology to process such resins exploits the high precision of lithography. Hachtel is the first industrial user of this technology and provides a complete integrated procurement solution: the digitalisation of the original part, optimisation, cost-efficient AM of high-quality parts and the widely underestimated part qualification by industrial computer tomography, which is a key requirement to use AM parts in industry.
The spare part markets for transportation, automotive, aerospace and industry’s machine tools are approached first. The European printing market grows with 25% to about 15bn $ until 2023. Corporations, like Siemens and Deutsche Bahn are actively searching for AM suppliers for a fast, cost-efficient and qualified procurement of individualised, complex and efficient components.
It is expected to create 70 additional jobs and an additional turnover of 13.4M€ until 2023 at both SMEs. By introducing this disruptive innovation, Hachtel can boost its existing business and ensure a future company growth. Cubicure will be able to further optimise its products for the industry and prove the high technological impact.

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Net EU contribution
€ 971 288,50
73431 AALEN

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 1 387 555,00

Participants (1)