ValCUN, located in Gent, Belgium, has been chosen to receive funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC). The funding will consist of a €2.5 million grant, with the option to receive up to €5 million in additional equity funding. This funding will be used to advance ValCUN’s proprietary Molten Metal Deposition (MMD) technology.
The MMD process is a single-step metal deposition method that uses metal wire as feedstock. The aluminium filament is fed into a heating chamber where it is melted. The chamber has a nozzle at the bottom through which liquid metal is extruded, fusing with the previous layer to build up the part. Molten Metal Deposition technology is said to result in a cost reduction of 75% to 90% compared to other metal AM technologies, as it offers energy efficiency, waste reduction, and the elimination of toxic chemicals or powders. The method also produces parts which don’t require debinding, sintering, powder removal or Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP).
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ValCUN recently showcased its Minerva Printer and Minerva Printhead, both employing MMD technology and specifically designed for the aluminium industry, at Formnext. The company also announced that it had received its first order for the Minerva Printer from Sirris, a Belgian research centre.
Jonas Galle, CEO of ValCUN, shared, “We are thankful to the EIC for selecting ValCUN for this highly competitive and prestigious programme. We are committed to enabling sustainable, safe, and cost-effective metal manufacturing solutions and are excited to have the EIC recognise the potential of the MMD technology to deliver on our vision. With this funding, we aim to push the boundaries of what’s achievable in the world of Advanced Manufacturing.”