At the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Ljubljana we and our partners have opened a laboratory for 3D printing of metals; this is one of the most recent and most innovative models of business association of Slovenian science and industry in recent years. Our Corporation had an important role in it.
The heart of the laboratory is a 3D printer worth half a million euros; it allows the printing of prototypes or parts of tools, and the development of technologically demanding pieces from various metal materials - from stainless and tool steel to aluminium and nickel alloys.
Nowadays, 3D printing technology is gaining ground in various industries, from the automotive to energy and medicine. The process enables a fast and precise prototyping of products with complex geometries and the rapid production of test series for different applications; from parts of foundry and machining tools to technologically demanding pieces made of various metal materials.
The investment in purchasing a 3D printer is a pilot example of practical collaboration between industry and science. With it, students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana will be given the opportunity to learn about new technologies in practice and not only through virtual models. The investment will also enable study and analytical projects for clients from the industry.
The idea of establishing a 3D printing laboratory and for the investment was given by the innovation partnership of the Slovene automotive cluster SRIP ACS + that convinced the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the SiEVA Development Centre that an association in this direction was urgently needed. In addition to the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and SiEVA, other partners joined the project too.
Hidria is one of its main participants, as our corporation is aware that we must closely follow the trends and developments in this field, and always look for ways to introduce novelties into our own technological and business processes.