The National Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre has signed a memorandum of understanding with Stoke-on-Trent based materials consultancy Lucideon Limited.
The MOU supports the development of additive manufacturing technologies and their applications in the ceramics industry, with the ambition of establishing the UK as a centre of excellence for ceramics AM.
While the UK has some experience of using 3D printing in ceramics it is not widespread. Working together, the MTC and Lucideon will explore materials technology and access to facilities, looking to encourage ceramics businesses to improve productivity and production processes using additive manufacture.
NCAM senior research engineer Tom Wasley said, “Additive manufacturing is one of the fastest growing technologies in manufacturing and certainly has a future in the ceramics sector. There is worldwide interest in the technology, so it is important that the UK explores how technology can provide a competitive edge.”
Lucideon, based in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent, specialises in materials technology and processes across several industries, combining materials science with innovative ideas and commercial know-how to improve productivity, cost and product performance. The company traces its roots back to the 1940s when it began life as the British Ceramics Research Association.
The National Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the MTC brings together one of the most comprehensive combinations of additive manufacturing equipment and capability in the UK. It is also home to the European Space Agency’s Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Centre.
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.