09 December 2021

A new 3D printer, a Wematter Gravity, enables more students in various engineering courses to have high quality plastic components quickly manufactured in various courses. At the same time, LiU can now also conduct more research in polymers for 3D printing.

3D products in black material Components in the material PA11, printed with the new SLS printer. Tove Frisk

Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, is a technology that is still developing rapidly and is now increasingly used in industrial production. In order to offer LiU's students the technology of the future, LiU and the Department of Economic and Industrial Development (IEI) are now investing in a new 3D printer of the SLS type (Selective Laser Sintering).

3D products in black material

The SLS printer, which works with bio-based PA11 material (polyamide), has a superior quality in terms of material strength, accuracy and productivity compared to the simpler plastic wire printers that are found here and there.

A superior quality

- Our hope is that all our engineering students will be able to use additive manufacturing in at least one course during their education, says Jonas Detterfelt, vice president at the Department of Industrial and Economic Development (IEI). In 2022, we will also start two new courses on additive manufacturing. A distance learning course for lifelong learning and a course for program students.

A first step

This is the first step in a larger investment in additive manufacturing.

- The procurement process for a metal printer is ongoing and that equipment will hopefully be in place during the spring. But we are also looking at equipment for research-based production of metal powder. Then, in cooperation with partners and expertise from other institutions and industrial companies, we will be able to take a big step forward in terms of the technology for additive manufacturing of metals, says Johan Moverare, professor of construction materials at IEI.

Already this year, two doctoral students have completed their dissertations in AM at IEI, and even more are on the way in 2022.

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