Additive manufacturing (AM) enables a new manufacturing paradigm, such as the rapid, distributive manufacture of complex objects. Additionally it has the potential to reduce waste and to manufacture individual products anywhere in the world, and to customise each of them.
The new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020) foresees Europe to compete at the forefront of the AM revolution, which in the long term will lead into entire new production and consumption paradigms
The DIMAP project focuses on the development of novel ink materials for 3D multi-material printing by PolyJet technology. We will advance the state-of-the art of AM through modifications of their fundamental material properties by mainly using nanoscale material enhanced inks. This widens the range of current available AM materials and implements functionalities in final objects. Therefore applications will not be limited to rapid prototyping but can be used directly in production processes. DIMAP will show this transition in two selected application fields: the production soft robotic arms/ joints and customized luminaires. In order to cope with these new material classes the existing PolyJet technology is further developed and therefore improved. The DIMAP project targets at the following objectives: additive manufactured joints, additive manufactured luminaires, ceramic enhanced materials, electrically conducting materials, light-weight polymeric materials, high-strength polymeric materials, novel multi-material 3D-printer and safe by design. With the development of novel ink materials based on nanotechnology improvement of the mechanical properties (ceramic enhanced and high strength polymeric inks), the electrical conductivity (metal enhanced inks) and the weightiness (light weight polymeric materials) are achieved. Based on the voxel printing by PolyJet these new materials lead to a huge broadening of the range of available digital material combinations. Further focus points during the material and printer development are safe by design approaches, work place safety, risk assessment, collaboration with EU safety cluster and life cycle assessment. An established roadmap at the end of project enables the identification of future development needs in related fields order to allow Europe also in the future to compete at the forefront of the additive manufacturing revolution.