Innovative 3D printing equipment installed at University of Bath

The University of Bath is home to a Renishaw AM250 Selective Laser Melting machine, significantly enhancing Bath’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.

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Based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s new Laboratory for Additive and Subtractive Engineering Research (LASER), the Renishaw AM250 will be actively used to manufacture highly complex metal components across a range of research projects and teaching activities.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) – also known as 3D printing – is fundamentally changing the way engineering components are being manufactured, unlocking new levels of geometrical complexity.

The AM250 machine has been provided by leading engineering company Renishaw and is capable of 3D printing metal components across all industrial sectors. The aerospace, power generation and automotive sectors are now using AM to manufacture highly-efficient thermal management systems with lattice structures, light-weight structural components and turbine / impeller blade geometries with complex internal cooling. The medical sector is using complex surfaces and auxetic structures for the next generation of medical implants.

Bath has a strong and longstanding relationship with Renishaw having collaborated extensively, including working directly with Renishaw’s Chief Technology Officer, Professor Geoff McFarland on a wide variety of research and development projects.

A number of the Faculty of Engineering & Design’s students also undertake placements and graduate positions with Renishaw. This year’s design and final year project exhibition and keynote lecture – taking place on Wednesday 30 May - will be delivered by Professor McFarland.

Bath is one of a select few universities across the UK to have such state-of-the-art additive manufacturing equipment. This technology will be the cornerstone of the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.

In addition to benefitting the Department’s research capabilities, this equipment will greatly benefit the University’s teaching. Students, both undergraduate and postgraduate will have the opportunity to see this technology in use and significantly impact on their outlook on industry.

LASER, led by Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr Vimal Dhokia, is currently working on a wide range of projects including design for additive manufacture, hybrid manufacture and personalised design.

Commenting on the University commissioning the Renishaw AM250, Dr Dhokia said:

“The acquisition of this technology sends out a statement of intent that manufacturing research at Bath is cutting edge and is able to push boundaries of what is currently possible. Through fundamentally changing how we manufacture there will be direct impacts across all fields of engineering and beyond.”

Dr Dhokia and colleagues at the University of Bath are keen to explore research opportunities and are encouraging those who are interested in collaborating or exploring the capabilities of this technology to get in touch.

Contact The Advanced Engineering Business Acceleration Hub and we can help connect you for research collaboration opportunities.