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Additive manufacturing laboratories

Additive Layer Manuf lab

The Additive Manufacturing Laboratories at the School of Engineering have a recognised established track record of additive manufacturing research and development in metal sintering and polymers since the mid 1990’s.

This research area has a proud history of collaboration with business and industry. Over the past six years we’ve worked with more than 630 companies, ranging from small design houses to leading manufacturers and innovators such as Dunlop, Orangebox, Northern Automotive and Dyson. We work in many substrates, such as medical grade materials, enabling innovation in sectors from healthcare, through high value manufacturing, to the creative industries.

Technical features

Our Additive Manufacturing (AM) Laboratories have a wide range of 3D printing technologies and the ability to produce macro and micro components through:

  • Selective Laser Melting
  • Powder Bed Fusion (Selective Laser Sintering)
  • Photo Polymerisation (Stereolithography)
  • Fused Deposition Modelling
  • 3D Printing

We can produce exceptional dimensional accuracy in whatever substrate. The AM Labs have almost two decades of experience in the additive manufacture of both plastic and metal components. Our ongoing research into material composition enables the production of extremely high quality components for both prototypes and full production parts. We have more than 70 expert-years in additive manufacturing processes and have published our research extensively in this field.

Our collaboration with the world-leading metrology company Renishaw and the brand new Renishaw Metrology Laboratory at Cardiff University School of Engineering, allows our AM labs immediate access to state-of-the-art measurement equipment in order to verify the dimensional accuracy of research and development and production laser melt components.

The Rensihaw Advanced Metrology Laboratory is a world class facility with equipment that can perform 3D scanning, imaging, measuring and reconstruction of objects and complex surfaces.

Equipment

The following equipment is available within our suite of laboratories:

3 Axis NC Milling Machine

DECKEL MAHO, model DMU 60T

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5 Axis NC Milling Machine

DECKEL MAHO. model DMU 60P

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CNC spark erosion machine

Datic 2060

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CNC Turning

Spinner PD

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Selective Laser Melting

Renishaw AM250

Currently used for research purposes.

EDM Spark Eroder

AgieTron Innovation EDM Spark Eroder

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Fused Deposition Modelling

Stratasys

Actual ABS material - Rod form build size 200x200x250.

High Speed Milling

MIKRON HSM 700

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Injection Moulding Machine

Batternfeld, model BA 750 CDK

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Selective Laser Sintering

HiQ

Currently produces parts in Polyamide, unfilled and glass filled.

Selective Laser Sintering

DTM, model 2500 plus

Currently used for research purposes.

Selective Laser Sintering

EOS, model P7000

Build chamber 700mm x 380mm x 580mm. Currently produces part in polyamide, unfilled and glass filled.

Stereo Lithography

3D Systems, model 5000

500mm square x 600mm high build space. Material is a mimic of ABS.

Stereo Lithography

3D Systems, model 3500

350mm square X 400mm high build space. Material is mimic of polyproplene.

Thermojet

 

Used for pattern making.

Wire EDM machine

AGIE Excellent

Produces features and components down to 20 microns

Practical applications

The research carried out in the field of advanced manufacturing at the School of Engineering is driven by practical applications in industry. Our focus is on the development of sustainable products and efficient and sustainable manufacturing processes. We have worked with many companies and organisations to assist them to improve their manufacturing processes and products. The laboratories are able to create extremely high quality components for prototypes, rapid tools and industry-ready production parts.