Brightlands Materials Center and TNO Support Ministry of Defence with 3D Printing Knowledge


February 13, 2018 – Brightlands Materials Center (BMC) and TNO will support the Ministry of Defence in utilising 3D printing (also known as Additive Manufacturing) within its organisation; something which is geared to create considerable advantages for the Ministry. In essence it will decrease its logistical footprint, make possible the personalisation of soldiers’ equipment and increase operational performance by having the facility to print parts on site. The client in this collaboration is the Ministry of Defence’s FRONT agency (Future Relevant Operations with Next generation Technology).

In the field of Additive Manufacturing, Brightlands Materials Center can draw from an outstanding knowledge base to support the Ministry in selecting materials and the application of 3D printing. TNO, as strategic partner of the Ministry of Defence, combines its comprehensive knowledge of the Ministry’s materials and equipment with its years of experience designing and applying advanced 3D printing equipment.

The Ministry has been experimenting with a 3D printer for a number of years now. Logistical advantages and increased operational performance are considered key benefits. The first experiments with 3D printing of plastic parts, among other places in Mali, have proven highly successful. To build on this success, the Ministry of Defence would like to broaden out the use of this technology in its organisation to include more materials and a wider range of applications. BMC and TNO will offer support with the development of such materials and any possible combinations, whilst closely monitoring and safeguarding both durability and sustainability.

A range of materials will be analysed over the next few months, many of which the Ministry of Defence hopes to use in the near future. This research will also be extended to making appropriate materials available to suit all applications.

About Brightlands Materials Center
The heart of Brightlands Materials Center is an evolving ecosystem where scientific excellence, innovative applications and societal challenges come together.

Brightlands Materials Center offers a meeting place at Brightlands Chemelot Campus and close collaboration with a global network of leading companies along the value chain and renowned universities and institutes.

The themes of research address major societal challenges such as sustainable energy, mobility, and health & well-being. Three shared research programs are currently running:

  • Lightweight Automotive
  • Sustainable Buildings
  • Additive Manufacturing

Managing directors of Brightlands Materials Center are Marnix van Gurp and Peter Wolfs. For more information about Brightlands Materials Center, please visit the company website:

Source: Brightlands Materials Center


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