The printing laboratory has recently been expanded with the acquisition of a new DLP technology printer, which allows printing with biocompatible materials.
The first European high-tech 3D printing incubator, 3D Incubator, celebrates the first six months since its launch with an extraordinarily positive outcome: currently, more than 100,000 3D pieces have been printed and all the private spaces are occupied.
Since its opening last March, 25 companies have been incubated. This means that the 3D Incubator has met its target of incubating 25 companies per year. This illustrates how successful the initiative has been.
The 3D Incubator is the only incubator dedicated to additive manufacturing (3DP/AM) and forms part of the EU-driven network of high-tech incubators in Europe. In response to high demand, a new DLP technology printer (NextDent 5100, from 3DSystems) has been acquired, which allows printing with biocompatible materials and with CE certification. With this latest addition, all of the incubated projects have access to a full state-of-the-art laboratory with eight different types of 3D printing technology: industrial (MJF , Stratasys J750, Stratasys Fortus 450); small format (Sigma BCN, Formlabs 2, Sinterit Lisa, NextDent); equipment for post-processing of pieces (Sandblaster, and Tumbler ABRAST by Coniex); and a 3D scanner for quality control and metrological analysis of printed parts.
The incubator has more than 600 m2 of private spaces, co-working and training area, common areas and production laboratory. The 3D Incubator provides general incubation services, production technology services, innovation and business consulting services, testing services, and marketing support services.
The companies hosted by the incubator come from a diverse range of sectors, including health (customisation technology), consumer goods (from musical instruments to sunglasses), mobility (electric motorbikes, drones and bicycles) and initiatives specialising in design. And one standout case: a logistics company that was able to foresee the revolution that the re-localisation of production with 3D technology will mean for their industry.
The goal of the high-tech incubator is to promote the growth of initiatives related to 3D printing through the creation of a space for entrepreneurs, start-ups, or spin-offs of large companies. It is co-financed at 50% by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Multi-regional Operational Programme of Spain 2014-2020, and operates under the Axis 3: Improving the competitiveness of SMES, awarded through the INCYDE Foundation.
These facilities are part of the DFactoryBCN strategic project that is being developed in the Zona Franca area of Barcelona and which, in the coming months, will become the foundation stone of a new 17,000 m2 building, the first phase of an Economy 4.0 hub in Barcelona.