Sustain 3D builds on insights from the Northsea program project COM3 SUSTAIN-3D, which identifies barriers, solutions, and mitigating initiatives to help SMEs implement additive manufacturing (AM).
The partnership consists of knowledge institutions and business developers with a strong outreach to SMEs. Their main objective is to ensure that companies can profit from new technologies and be at the forefront of R&D.
The project will implement new technology like AM, which is, in essence, a wicked problem. On the one side, SMEs know that AM will help them innovate and stay ahead of the competition. On the other hand, it is hard to grasp exactly what AM can do in their production. Some SMEs invest heavily in AM, but often investments aren't monetized.
Deployment of already installed AM machinery is, in some cases, under 3%. Others don't invest or invest in cheap machines that do not meet expectations. All three scenarios slow the transition toward Industry 4.0. SUSTAIN-3D seeks to mitigate this issue.
Studies of the problem point to complex causes:
- Lack of skilled workers and innovators
- Lack of (digital and structural) infrastructure
- Lack of objective institutional and digital support
A complex problem like this is beyond any one company to solve. Companies across DK, BE, and NL have teamed up with knowledge institutions and local industry networks to analyze, develop, and implement solutions to the problem.
The overall goals of the project are to:
- Create demand:
- More SMEs need to invest in the right AM technology
- Create effect:
- Expensive production-grade machines must be utilized better
- Ensure that SMEs invest in the right equipment
Sustain 3D will
- Assess if the CORA/COM3 model for digital transformation can be meaningfully applied to the case of AM technology. This will create a foundation for the partners to work on even after the project period.
- Implement local action plans related to skill, services, and infrastructure.
The project will help 40 SMEs and 7 partners increase capacity for implementing AM.