Big opportunities for more efficient cooling elements
Cooling elements for power electronics, lighting, etc. are traditionally extrusion parts. In the early days and for low power applications, these cooling elements where sufficient enough. Modern power electronics have a higher power density and heat dissipation. There is a need for more efficient heat exchangers that can evacuate more heat in a smaller space. If the internal channels and fins are optimised for heat extraction, they are so complex that 3D printing is the only manufacturing technique possible. However, current metal 3D printing techniques are too expensive and too slow for series production.
Making metal 3D printing affordable by a disruptive patent pending technology
‘Economic and ecological competitive metal 3D printing on serial production scale’. That's the ambitious mission of ValCUN, a Belgian technology startup established in 2016. Co-founders Jonas Galle and Jan De Pauw are developing a disruptive technique that is affordable and faster compared to traditional metal 3D printing.
Current metal 3D printing technologies mainly use metal powders as a feedstock material and high power lasers to build up the part. ValCUN isn’t using any of these as such making it possible to reduce the operating and investment costs significantly. Their adaptive resolution technology increases build rates tenfold.
ValCUN can use any shape of feedstock which provides the unique property of direct metal recycling from production waste streams. Hence allowing products to receive a green label, something that’s not possible with today’s technologies!
ValCUN in numbers
ValCUN was granted a feasibility study from ESA (2016) and the Flemish government VLAIO (2017). They got a couple of LOIs, of which one from Barco. Recently, a VLAIO development project of about 1M€ was granted for the development of their prototype. ValCUN is raising funds (500k to 1M EUR) to realize their first revenue, expected for Q2 2021.