Pioneering circular 3D printing for sustainable design
Footprint inc. is committed to circular 3D printing, supported by VLAIO, Sirris and Voka. Founded by Aagje Rappé and Pieter Maelegheer, the company's mission is to promote circular 3D printing, with sustainability at its core.
What sets Footprint inc. apart is their commitment to sustainability. Not only do they reuse sustainable printing materials, but even the 3D printer is a second-hand robot that Pieter converted himself. Because 3D printing allows small changes to be made to designs, waste is reduced. Because 3D printing takes time, Footprint's focus is on unique pieces in small to medium runs, such as interior objects, works of art or prototypes in intermediate parts of certain machines.
The search for the right sector led to furniture pieces, interchanges and even collaborations with partners such as Audi and floral artist Daniel Ost for a 'car plant'. With VLAIO's innovative start-up support, Aagje and Pieter launched their proof of business and expanded their focus.
Through collaboration with research partner Sirris, they are investigating which materials can be used 100% circularly. The guidance of VLAIO business advisor Tom Sterken played a crucial role in this. Voka also offered support with financial aspects and honing the business concept.
Future plans include further research into printing materials, reuse possibilities and strength values, depending on the purpose. An initial project with the Belgian navy should further investigate the printing of spacers on a naval ship. Footprint aims to develop into the leading company for circular 3D printing and shares knowledge about sustainable production possibilities with the market.