Belgian non-profit Flam3D working on collaborative AM project

Belgian non-profit Flam3D is set to unveil a new 3D printing technology demonstrator program later this year.

Using 3D printed mannequins, the project will present innovative 3D printing technology spanning from ceramics to 3D printed electronics.

The ‘Family of the Future’ project has brought together 29 companies and research institutions, all from the Flemish region of Belgium, to advance additive manufacturing technology.  With notable enterprises including Materialise, KU Leuven and Renishaw.

We spoke to Flam3D’s Pieter Machtelinckx to find out more about the project.

Fried Vancraen, CEO and founder of Materialise, watches the opening of the 2017 Materialise World Summit. Photo by Michael Petch.
Fried Vancraen, CEO and founder of Materialise, watches the opening of the 2017 Materialise World Summit. Photo by Michael Petch.


Flanders Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Ecosystem (Flam3D) is an independent platform which aims to support innovation in 3D printing.

General Director of Flam3D, Kris Binon, explains the purpose of the project is co-creation. He says, “what Additive Manufacturing really needs for the future, is cooperation. Beyond the hype, there’s a world in which we must work together – both in- and outside the Additive Manufacturing ecosystem. A solution to a specific problem rarely lies within one single company.

Pieter Machtelinckx echoes this as he tells us,

“We also want to show that co-creation adds value in a ‘1+1=3’-way.”

Machtelinckx explains new partnerships have been spurred following the project and new 3D printing applications have been developed as a result.

In a previous project, Flam3D developed a 3D printed bicycle; the 王-BIKE.

Family of the future

Set to be unveiled at the Prototyping 2017 event in November, Flam3D’s ‘Family of the Future’ will “demonstrate how more than 90 printed components can be deployed in the context of the family – but also the ‘factory’ – of the future.

According to the press release,

“The project will therefore exhibit a wide range of techniques: from printed electronics to printed components in metal and ceramic materials.”

To better understand the project, Machtelinckx explains 3 demonstration models will be presented that showcase 3D printed parts.

“These models will be constructed of 3D printed parts (printed body, arms, legs, organs, medical applications, gadgets, industrial and electronic applications, and more.)”

The ‘Family of the Future‘ project will be unveiled first at Prototyping 2017 in Belgium on November 8th before its international premiere at Formnext in Frankfurt on the November 14th.

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Featured image shows Renishaw’s RenAM 500M at IMTS 2016, Renishaw are one of the leading companies active in the Family of the Future project. Photo by Michael Petch.