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Dr Franck Lacan

Dr Franck Lacan

Research Associate

S3.17, Queen's Buildings - South Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA


I am part of the Mechanics, Materials and Advanced Manufacturing research group within Cardiff University's School of Engineering.

I have over 20 years’ experience in Additive Manufacturing (AM) and my research interests include:

  • AM Materials: Development of application specific metal materials for SLM and polymers for Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM).
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing: Development of functional geometries to answer specific requirements (weight reduction, shock or vibration absorption).
  • AM applications and simulation: Use of computer simulation to improve design functionality, manufacturability, performance and topology optimisation.
  • Process characterisation, improvement and stability: Develop a better understanding, monitor and improve the capabilities and processing conditions of AM processes.
  • Manufacturing process chains: Incorporation of AM to existing manufacturing process chains. Combination of AM with conventional and high values manufacturing processes.
  • AM Support chain: AM supply chain and distribution.


I joined Cardiff University as a PhD student in 1996, working on the development of polymer and metal tooling applications using Rapid Prototyping. He earned his PhD investigating metal sintered components produced using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and entitled “Capabilities of the RapidTool process” in 2000.

Over the following decade, I have worked in product development as a designer and project manager for the Manufacturing Engineering Centre where he had direct access to a wide range of processes and machines including SLS, Stereolitography (SLA), Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) and some material Jetting processes (3D Systems Thermojet, Solidscape), allowing me to further extend my knowledge in AM. During the same period, I have also developed an expertise in injection and micro injection moulding.

After working on two FP7 European research projects on the development of micro injection moulding (COTECH, IMPRESS), I was actively involved in MEET Lab, a Welsh government funded project aiming at facilitating access to digital manufacturing technologies and 3D Printing to micro enterprises.

I have joined the Cardiff University’s Additive Layer Manufacturing Lab in 2015 with the aim to oversee and develop further the lab’s research activities.

I am currently a reviewer for the 4M and SDM conferences as well as the Rapid Prototyping Journal.








  • Dorrington, P., Lacan, F. A. and Bigot, S. 2016. How are micro enterprises adopting emergent technologies?. Presented at: 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing (SDM-2016), Chania, Greece, 4-6 April 2016 Presented at Setchi, R. et al. eds.Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2016, Vol. 52. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies (SIST) Vol. 52. Cham: Springer pp. 215-226., (10.1007/978-3-319-32098-4_19)








Combine advanced supply chain solutions with 3dp expertiseLacan F, Setchi RPanalpina World Transport, KTP11438601/12/2015 - 30/09/2017
IMPRESS - Flexible Compression Injection Moulding Platform for Multi-Scale Surface StructuresBigot S, Lacan FACommission of European Communities27192701/05/2010 - 30/04/2013

Supervised Students