3T secures Government funding for R&D projects
3T RPD has been successful in securing roles in six out of 18 Technology Strategy Board-funded Additive Manufacturing (AM) development projects.
The UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, is investing £8.4m in Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, which creates objects layer by layer. Powdered plastic or metals are selectively melted by powerful lasers which are guided by sliced CAD data. The lasers solidify the powder and so create accurate, high quality, solid parts.
3T is leading three of the collaborative research projects and working as a partner in three further projects.
The projects 3T is collaborating on demonstrate the range of applications that the technology can be used for. One project aims to improve the surface finish of orthopaedic implants such as hip replacements, another is looking to produce new powders in order to make coloured components – giving designers much more creative scope, and a third is working towards production of an innovative hydraulic servo valve.
As the industry develops from its rapid prototyping roots into a true production technology, 3T is involved in projects that move this trend forward. A number of the projects look to mechanise areas of pre and post production. For example, there is a project to develop software that automatically creates the necessary build supports for metal AM production and a further project will develop an automated system for laser polishing and electrochemical machining of parts after they come out of the AM build chamber.
The UK is a world leader in Additive Manufacturing and this investment should accelerate the UK’s uptake of this established technology that continues to develop. This additional funding will bring AM production components and consumer items to market faster and at higher quality giving engineers and designers more understanding of, and confidence in, the process.
Speaking about the Technology Strategy board funding: Ian Halliday, 3T’s CEO said: “By supporting Additive Manufacturing, the government-backed Technology Strategy Board is making a welcome investment in the future of UK manufacturing. This funding allows us to expand our established research and development team and we are already recruiting three new members of staff. The benefits to 3T will be significant not just in the short term but also in the long term as we compete in the worldwide market for Additive Manufacturing.”
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit http://www.innovateuk.org/.
The UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, is working with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), to jointly fund 18 projects, which will last between one and three years.