Anisoprint has set up an unusual 3D print research centre at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany.
Anisoprint is well-known as being one of the very few companies that produce 3D printers capable of embedding full-length continuous carbon fibers into parts. Their technology enables operators to produce incredibly strong and lightweight parts that in many low temperature applications can substitute for heavier metal parts.
Now they’ve set up a partnership with Jacobs University. Anisoprint explains:
“Starting in September 2022, 3D printing solution provider Anisoprint deployed their Research and Development Team at Jacobs University Bremen. The main focus of the partnership is fostering research and development of composites manufacturing with Continuous Fiber Coextrusion (CFC) technology and establishing a research environment for 3D printing technologies on the university campus in Bremen, Germany.”
What’s unusual about this arrangement is that Anisoprint’s research and development team have relocated to Jacobs University. As of September, Anisoprint’s R&D activities are taking place at the university. I am not aware of any other 3D printer manufacturer taking this step.
What will they be doing? It turns out there are several objectives. One of them is to enhance the company’s continuous carbon fiber 3D printing process, called Continuous Fiber Coextrusion (CFC). They say this will involve not only control methods, but also material chemistry. Anisoprint lists the specific objectives:
- Improving and equipping the 3D printing laboratory for proper study of the properties of composite materials
- Exploration of new methods of carbon fiber impregnation with resins and thermoplastic polymers;
- Improving the binder formulation used in CFC technology
But there’s an other objective here, and it’s quite interesting. Anisoprint explains:
“In 2023, Anisoprint plans to establish an internship program for university students to develop educational activities in additive technology, polymer physics and chemistry, and composite mechanics. Plans also entail getting students involved in international and European research projects creating entirely new opportunities for students at Jacobs University.”
This allows the company to expose their advanced technology to students, who might carry that knowledge forward into companies they work for in the future. That may enhance Anisoprint’s future sales, so that’s a good move.
But also the approach allows Anisoprint to work directly with students, and potentially recruit them for the company as they eventually graduate. Some will indeed work with Anisoprint on new technologies, and could continue working with them commercially after graduation.
The move to Bremen by Anisoprint may not produce immediate benefits, but clearly there are a number of long-term effects that will be quite desirable for the company and its CFC technology.