© UDE/Fabian Strauch

Co-Creation Lab Product Innovations

Creative minds develop prototypes

  • von Janina Balzer
  • 17.05.2024

All it takes is an idea. Whether optimised brakes for shopping trolleys, prosthetic arms or customised tools: The Co-Creation Lab Product Innovations supports students and scientists in founding their own start-ups and helps to create prototypes via 3D printing technology. An interdisciplinary team provides support.

Bioprinters, laser cutting and polyjet - in the Co-Creation Lab Product Innovations (CCLP), creative minds meet a fully equipped technical workshop. Experts from the fields of chemistry, engineering, 3D printing and design are on hand to advise interested parties: How do I create an initial concept? Which materials are suitable for the prototypes? And how can the prototype then be optimised?

In addition to comprehensive expertise, the CCLP also has various rooms at its disposal. While the Ideation Room offers enough space to tinker with ideas, the laboratory is equipped with extensive facilities for material development. "We specialise in polymers and can use a suitable 3D printing process tailored to the individual application," says Prof. Michael Giese, Head of the CCLP. He explains: "We can combine elastic and less elastic materials and print biocompatible and textured surfaces. We can also produce prototypes from high-performance plastics and even print them in full colour using the polyjet process. This is great because it allows us to cover a wide range of applications."

Printers using the material extrusion process melt and layer plastic particularly quickly. Photopolymerisation printers enable transparent and elastic products using liquid synthetic resins that cure during the process. Machines that work with a so-called powder bed process create particularly complex and solid moulds using a laser beam that heats and selectively melts powder. A large-capacity printer can produce components up to a size of almost one cubic metre. The bioprinter is also relevant for research. This can print tissue with living cells and could even realise entire organ implants one day. Currently, however, it is mainly used for research into bio-organic materials. Other processing methods, such as laser cutting, also allow finer processing of the materials. Elements such as the tensile testing machine can also be used to precisely characterise materials in order to optimise material development.

The CCLP is affiliated with the GUIDE project, which provides step-by-step support for start-ups at the UDE. Regular consultation hours can be found on the CCLP homepage. If you would like to take a look at the 3D printing lab, you can also book a lab tour.

More information:
Michael Giese, Head of the Co-Creation Lab Product Innovations,

Contact to the CCLP: Tel. 0201 183 5214, cclp@uni-due.de, www.udue.de/cclp

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