Brightlands Materials Center is an independent R&D center in the field of polymeric materials. It is an initiative of TNO and the Dutch Province of Limburg and located at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in the south of the Netherlands.
The Additive Manufacturing group of Brightlands Materials Center is developing Continuous Fiber Additive Manufacturing technology for production of structural, lightweight and freeform parts for aerospace and other mobility markets. The technology manufactures thermoplastic composite parts with a high strength versus weight ratio in complex shapes. Unique design optimalization and parts integration allows for further weight savings compared to parts that are traditionally manufactured.
Continuous Fiber Additive Manufacturing brings mechanical reinforcement and it enables functional 3D printed products. As production technology it offers benefits with respect to cost effective small and medium series, flexibility and time to market. On demand and regional production allows for spare parts with reduced logistics and warehouse costs or availability on remote locations.
Additional to lightweighting, circular business models can be further explored because resource recovery of thermoplastic composites manufactured by Continuous Fiber Additive Manufacturing is relatively easy compared to traditional thermoset composites. Designing additive manufacturing products for end-of-life also allows reuse and recycling in local 3D printers.