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Dr James Gardner

Photo of Dr James Gardner

Research Associate

James Gardner is a Research Associate in Design for Additive Manufacturing and a member of the Design for Digital Fabrication Research Group within Loughborough Design School.

Following study at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University, graduating with a B.Sc. in Sport Technology (2012) and M.Sc. in Sports Engineering (2013), James moved to Loughborough University (2014) to research three-dimensional data generation methods of biomimetic, functional textures.

Alongside his research for the award of Ph.D., supervised by Dr Guy Bingham and Dr Abby Paterson, James concurrently held positions as a University Teacher, an IT Assistant, and a Research Assistant on two separate projects, funded by the EPSRC and Arthritis Research UK.

His core research interests include design to AM workflow optimisation, generative CAD modelling methods, and biomimetics.

James can also be found on LinkedIn.

Research group: Design for Digital Fabrication

The Design for Digital Fabrication Research Group (D4DF) focuses on the aspects of design which support a range ‎of automated, computer-controlled manufacturing processes to bring the virtual into physical reality, as well as the ‎psychosocial and economic impacts of these processes. This research focuses on 3D ‎Printing and Additive Manufacturing technologies but also encompasses 3D scanning, CAD and digital manufacturing processes such as laser cutting and CNC machining.‎ The group feeds into Loughborough University’s campus-wide Additive ‎Manufacturing Research Group.

As a Research Associate in Design for Additive Manufacturing, James’ principal responsibilities are:

James’ recent research activities include:

  • the development and implementation of a CAD workflow that references user-defined parametric information to generate 3D, biomimetic, functional texture data, and;
    • Micro- and nano-scale features of shark skin improve swimming efficiency by manipulating fluid flow. By incorporating key features of naturally occurring functional textures, via AM technologies, additional functionality can be included in designed applications. The developed software/workflow enables users to add 3D, biomimetic, functional textures to surfaces with various curvatures, which are ready for AM.
    • the development of a set of CAD tools, and accompanying GUI, to enable hand therapists to generate 3D wrist splint data, by referencing patient 3D scan data;
      • Hand therapists without CAD experience were able to create wrist splint models, which were: bespoke, comfortable, porous, multi-material, aesthetically pleasing, lighter, and ready for AM. This research was funded by Arthritis Research UK.

Generative and parametric CAD; CAD with anatomical 3D scan data; AM technologies and processes; DfAM rules and best practices; biomimetics, and; functional textures.