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Founded in 1846, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) in Brussels is home to over 250 research scientists, 38 million specimens and, since 1869, the Lier mammoth – the first skeleton of its kind ever to be displayed to the public in Western Europe. Discovered in the municipality of Lier in Antwerp, the skeleton is still one of only a few full mammoth skeletons in existence. This rarity makes it of vital scientific importance, not to mention a thrilling exhibit for natural history enthusiasts around the world. With this in mind, the re-opening of the City Museum of Lier presented an exciting opportunity. While the original bones could not be moved from Brussels, there was a modern solution to this: use 3D printing to create an exact, life-size replica. Led by the local Kiwanis community group, a team dedicated to preserving the history of Lier approached Materialise, a 3D printing services and software solutions provider, for carrying out the plan. Around 1,260 printing hours and 320 bones later, the ‘Lier Mammoth 2.0’ was born.
While the incident is unique and spectacular, this only partially testifies about the capabilities of Materialise. The company was founded in 1990 with the goal to offer new uses the extraordinary potential of 3D printing. Since then, Materialise has leveraged its experience to create a range of software solutions and 3D printing services, which together form a backbone for the 3D printing industry.
With its branches worldwide, Materialise has combined the largest group of software developers in the industry with one of the largest 3D printing facilities in the world. Its open and flexible platforms enable key players in industries like healthcare, automotive, aerospace, art and design, and consumer goods to build innovative 3D printing applications to streamline their manufacturing process. Materialise creates value through technology, designing next-generation products that transform the way companies do business, improve lives, and unlock the potential to change the faces of industries. The company collaborates with its clients to approach problems in different ways.
Our mission is to innovate product development that results in a better and healthier world, through our software and hardware infrastructure, and in-depth knowledge of Additive Manufacturing
Besides its technological prowess, Materialise runs a company-wide environmental management system that seeks to understand and above all minimize its effect on the environment. Additionally, as a participant of the UN Global Compact, Materialise strongly believes that achieving its mission of creating a better and healthier world can only be accomplished by creating shared value and fostering sustainability both within and around the global organization. A key part of the company’s CSR program involves supporting NGOs, non-profits, and grassroots initiatives around the world, focusing on projects that involve the use of technology to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place.