SAMSax – Sustainable Additive Manufacturing in Saxony

Scientists in Saxony want to reuse agricultural and industrial waste as recyclable materials using 3D printing processes. They are testing the procedures for this in the "SAMSax" real laboratory.

Additive manufacturing of new products from residuals which accrue in industry and agriculture – this is what teams at the Universities of Technologyof in Freiberg, Chemnitz, and Dresden are working on in the Living Lab SAMSax. The picture shows an additively manufactured component made of miscanthus grass. (Quelle: Crispin Mokry)

Such residual materials as wood flour, paper fibers, plant remains, or crushed sand usually end up on landfill sites, or they are burned. Saxony’s scientists are looking for solutions that are much more sustainable. They want to reutilize these waste materials from agriculture and industry as valuable substances. Their objective is to analyze and recycle accumulated residues and use them to create new products with the help of diverse 3D printing methods. The requisite procedures are being tested in the Living Lab SAMSax. The term stands for Sustainable Additive Manufacturing in Saxony.

The Living Lab is located at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg University of Mining and Technology. Already for quite some time now, the researchers at the Chair of Additive Manufacturing have been focusing on 3D printing technologies that use biobased materials and residues. For example, they have manufactured elements for sound and thermal insulation from miscanthus grass and produced parts from apricot kernel flour via 3D printing. Mortar can also be used as an additive. Together with partners from Chemnitz University of Technology (TU Chemnitz) and Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden), they are working on paving the way towards a comprehensive and consistent circular economy.

An integral part of SAMSax is a knowledge management platform which provides subject-specific information on additive technologies and processes, usable residues, and the circular economy in general. In addition to continued education and training, the platform facilitates the exchange of information and the establishment of networks among Saxony’s companies and research partners. The SAMSax stakeholders are also setting up a database of the accumulating residues in Saxony and their suitability for additive manufacturing. In hands-on projects, they are showcasing a prototypical circular economy to demonstrate diverse practical applications. Innovation partnerships are designed to consolidate the approaches and concepts so they become part of a closed material life cycle.

SAMSax - Sustainable Additive Manufacturing in Saxony