Metal 3D Printing Lab – Result of Integration of Science and Economy

date: 04.10.2018

category: Sporočila za javnost


Ljubljana, 3 October 2018 – Today’s opening of the joint Metal 3D Printing Lab represents a major step forward toward the realisation of what is probably the most innovative business model of the integration of science and economy, carried out jointly by SiEVA, SRIP ACS+, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana and partners.

The basic need to build a laboratory became evident already during a workshop on the topic of new technologies as part of SRIP ACS+’s activities, following which our proposed business model won trust with important partners: Cimos, Domel, Hidria, Iskra Mehanizmi, Kolektor Group, Mariborska livarna Maribor, TECOS, TPV, Institute of Metals and Technology, Slovenian national building and civil engineering institute, Zavod 404. Afterwards, we raised funds to purchase first-class equipment for metal 3D printing. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering has offered its premises for the laboratory, which will further strengthen the partnership and enable students and professors to directly engage in lab work on concrete projects of the industry.

It only took one year to make the idea come true, that is, to make a half million Euro worth new-generation metal 3D printer of the German manufacturer EOS ready for use. The printer will enable printing prototypes or parts of tools and develop technologically complex pieces for small-scale production from four materials, that is, stainless and tool steel, and aluminium and nickel alloy with the following dimensions: 250 x 250 x 300 mm. This has enabled Slovenian companies to keep up with the trend, as 3D technology has been declared one of the top breakthrough technologies in 2018 in the world.

This business model is unique from several aspects. This is the first time that different companies, which have jointly invested in the purchase of equipment, and research institutes (IRO) have joined their forces. Moreover, project work will be conducted together, as each partner has appointed a representative to collaborate in a group together with professors and students to find the right solutions to the problems pointed out by the industry. The partners are not competitors to each other; therefore, we believe that this will make collaboration and the transfer of the engineering knowledge even better. The project designers have already contacted other similar laboratories in Austria and Germany, and they also cooperate with the University of Udine, meaning they already have enough challenges ahead of them. 


SiEVA, Mr. Miloš Šturm: Over the past seven years, SiEVA’s research and development tasks were focused on improving the operation of internal combustion motors, electrical and hybrid drive systems, and the development of mechanical components for increased safety and comfort of passengers together with the development of manufacturing technologies for the production of assemblies. This has been further supported with the EVA4green project, which is co-financed by the Ministry of Science. Over the last three years, we have collaborated on two Horizon 2020 European projects, COMBILASER and Facts4Workers. In both projects, we worked together with partners to develop technologies for Industry 4.0. The 3D LAB project, therefore, represents a logical continuation, as additive technologies represent a big challenge for the automotive industry.


SRIP ACS+ Mrs. Tanja Mohorič: We are truly pleased to see that our work, which is focused on connecting partners in the field of mobility, recognising opportunities for joint projects and support to the realisation of such projects, is reflected in such an important project such as the establishment of a joint lab between the economy and public research institutions. This not only delivers the economy with an excellent opportunity to develop important competences, but it also establishes entirely new models of integration and exceeds the limits of previous deliberations. We will continue to boldly and ambitiously create new opportunities for the automotive industry and the field of mobility in Slovenia; we always have enough challenges to meet, whilst the excellence of our partners provides us with assurance that we will achieve important breakthrough results.


Dean Prof. PhD. Mitjan Kalin: We applaud such scientific and economic integration. Our professors and students will now have the opportunity to offer their extensive knowledge, use first-class equipment and find solutions to the current challenges in the industry. Students will engage in projects that will provide them with applied knowledge and enable them to connect with various employers. This way, they will leave our faculty not only with theoretical knowledge but also with tangible practical skills. They will be trained for immediate work in the industry, which is an essential advantage on today’s labour market.” 



About SiEVA

SiEVA d.o.o. (the abbreviation stands for “Synergistic Ecologic Safe Vehicle”) is a company established with the aim of conducting research and development activities focused on strategic fields of vehicle electrification and safety. The company employs first-class development professionals whose competences in the fields of vehicle electrification, internal combustion engines, the provision of comfort and safety, and process development, technologies and manufacturing excellence further upgrade the existing expertise in SiEVA’s partner companies. SiEVA is a new development core of the Slovenian automotive industry and it represents a step forward in the development of the Slovenian automotive industry in terms of building competences and competitive positioning on the global market.



SRIP is an abbreviation for strategic research and innovation partnerships, established on the State’s initiative in nine priority areas, one of them being the automotive industry with mobility, which is in the domain of the automotive cluster ACS. SRIP works as a support environment, looking for joint projects and development opportunities.


About the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana

The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana is a modern research institution recognised in the Slovenian and international environments. The Faculty is recognised for its topmost research achievements, which have been acknowledged by the European Research Council who has provided grants (ERC project) to two researchers. Researchers also publish the results of their work in the most prestigious magazines, such as Nature Communications.



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