A Man, a Machine, a Mission
From the very beginning, Wilfried Vancraen had a clear goal in mind. He knew 3D Printing could make a difference in the world, but it had to be used effectively and responsibly. Starting out with one Stereolithography machine in a small office at the Catholic University of Leuven, Fried started developing Materialise’s first applications and 3D printing software.
Printing Detailed One-Off Components with Vacuum Casting
Vacuum Casting opened fascinating new possibilities for product development. 3D Printing was a great deal less sophisticated then than it is today, and at the time there was a demand for small prototype series made with higher quality materials. The technique involves creating one master part – which we did using Stereolithography – and then casting several copies of it with a silicone mold. By combining 3D Printing and the more traditional Vacuum Casting, Materialise was able to start quickly producing small batches of 20-30 plastic components of the highest possible quality with all the design freedom of 3D Printing.
Further Expanding Competence Centers Worldwide
In our continuous quest towards excellence, we introduced a brand new competence center in Malaysia, which will research and develop new applications for DLP printing technology. Along with seven other competence centers worldwide – which each focus on a different technology – we aim to accelerate the development of our own expertise as well as that of the 3D printing industry in general.