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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P027261/1
Title: Future Additive Manufacturing Platform Grant
Principal Investigator: Hague, Professor RJ
Other Investigators:
Tuck, Professor CJ Ashcroft, Professor IA Dickens, Professor P
Goodridge, Dr R Wildman, Professor RD Baumers, Dr M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Manufacturing Technology Centre
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Platform Grants
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 31 March 2021 Value (£): 1,733,623
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Feb 2017 Future Manufacturing Platform Grants (G) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) at The University of Nottingham (UoN) is focused on the discovery and understanding of advanced Additive Manufacturing (AM) solutions for high value manufacturing and further advanced research applications. The foundations of the 3DPRG go back to the early 1990s and Richard Hague, Ian Ashcroft, Phill Dickens, Chris Tuck and Ricky Wildman have worked collaborated since the mid-2000s. This successful relationship was formalised in 2011 by the award of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in AM and crystallised with our move to UoN in 2012. Our academic grouping was further strengthened through the promotion to academic positions of Ruth Goodridge (2012) and Martin Baumers (2016). Together, we are a clearly established research group of scale that is internationally recognised as undertaking leading work in the field of AM. We have a strong track record in obtaining grant funding, of joint publications and of achieving impact (academic, industrial and societal).

With expertise and track record in both single and multi-material / multifunctional AM, our research approach is both user-centred and scientifically driven. Alongside strong and enduring interdisciplinary links to the physical and applied sciences that complement and extend our capabilities, we have built a core multi-disciplinary team of academics and researchers of ~100 people, housed in a purpose built laboratory. Our goal is to investigate the underpinning processes, materials and computational methods necessary for the successful execution and implementation of AM as a viable manufacturing tool. Our interest and focus on underpinning AM leads us to work with diverse industrial sectors and key (international) manufacturing companies to enable unique AM solutions across a myriad of applications.

With a strong history of research in AM, the UK now needs to capitalise on its deep fundamental knowledge-base to successfully implement AM in industry. However, as highlighted by the UK AM Strategy's interim report [], the range of technologies that are now being industrially deployed are primarily based on technological developments that are over 20 years old (first introduced for prototyping purposes) and there remain significant barriers to productivity in terms of the speed, reproducibility, accuracy, material range and functionality of produced parts. Hence, today's AM technologies are largely still not ready for implementation into most production environments, nor are they capable enough to service the needs of potential users, particularly when it comes to productivity issues (speed of production or material utility).

Our vision driving this platform proposal is to discover, understand and enable industrial implementation of AM solutions to address the issues of productivity and industrial scalability, with our ambition being that this will strengthen our engagement across the full value chain from discovery to deployment. This vision will require close relationships with all stakeholders, including academics in disparate disciplines; the wider innovation ecosystem (particularly the Catapults); manufacturers of AM equipment and materials; organisations involved in policy making; as well as end users in multiple industry sectors.

This Platform proposal is therefore centred on both addressing a subject of undoubted (inter)national importance alongside sustaining a research group of international renown. It will enable us to renew our long term research vision, through the exploration and exploitation of new and emerging science, whilst maintaining a focus on overcoming the challenges associated with implementing AM into industry.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nott.ac.uk