MAASTRICHT. What can 3D printing mean to the MTB, the sheltered workshops in Maastricht. In asking themselves this question, a group of students from the School of Business and Economics won the Maastricht Student Sustainability Competition last Friday. The participants of the annual sustainability competition, organised by the Maastricht city council, the UM, and Maastricht LAB, are students from the master’s programmes of Business Innovation and Sustainable Development (SBE) and Sustainability Science and Policy (ICIS). Their assignment was to choose a local business or project and investigate how they can become more sustainable.
The winners looked into the possibilities of 3D printing for the MTB; either in printing orders or assembling 3D printers. “In particular the latter option appeared promising,” says Marc Dijk, one of the lecturers involved from sustainability institute ICIS. “When consumers purchase a 3D printer, it is often sent to them as an Ikea flat pack with lots of different parts. MTB could help assembling it.” This is an example of social sustainability. “People from the MTB expand their skills and come in contact with a new market.”
Other ideas included research into the best foreign market for electronic motorbikes for a local garage and a plan to make the residential area that will be built on top of the A2 tunnel as sustainable as possible for the Maastricht city council. “The customers have received the reports, what they do with the results is up to them,” says Dijk.