Jun 17, 2015 | By Simon

As we continue to find various applications for 3D printing ranging from those in the medical industry to those in the aerospace industry and everything in between, it would make sense that universities - the source of our next generation of great thinkers - have been actively outfitting themselves with various additive manufacturing technologies to be better-equipped for a new generation of thinkers.  

More recently, the University of Nottingham’s Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) opened a new laboratory for testing materials for 3D Printing and finding new ways where 3D printing can be applied to our everyday lives.  

The new equipment in the lab, which was funded with aid from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), features a new suite of analytical equipment and over £2.7 million worth of top-of-the-line 3D printers.  Additionally, the school announced the launch of their own internal consulting firm - Added Scientific - for both companies and industries that are looking for developments in the additive manufacturing space.

"This new lab and Added Scientific represent a huge step forward in additive manufacturing research and development,” said Nottingham University's EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing director Professor Richard Hague.  “We aren't about printing just shapes or creating objects for their own sake, but about using science and engineering to find new ways to apply additive manufacturing to the real world.”

With a strong foundation in what industries and companies are already doing with additive manufacturing technologies - including those in the electronics, aerospace, pharmaceutical, nanotechnology and medicine sectors - Hague and the rest of the leadership team at the new lab are positioned well for focusing on what comes next in the use of additive manufacturing technologies for all industries.

"The state-of-the-art equipment in our new lab will allow us to refine the process of multi-functional 3D printing, working with research organisations and industry partners to make 3D printed electronics, pharmaceuticals and conductive materials a safe, viable and cost-effective reality," added Hague.  

Among other pieces of equipment that reside in the new laboratory include the PiXDRO JETx supplied by Meyer Burger (formally known as Roth & Rau B.V); a six-headed ink jet system that’s capable of printing structural and functional materials including electronic circuits or components with six different materials including metallic and ceramic loaded 'inks'.    

In addition to larger and more industrial machines, the laboratory will also house equipment for considerably smaller applications including a Nanoscribe machine for developing new materials for nanofabrication applications including the development of synthetic cell structures.  

While not every school can afford the same equipment that the University of Nottingham acquired, the school is certainly a great example of what all other schools should strive to include at some point or another.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Company

 

 

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