Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

News

3 Jun 2015

£1million 3D printing machine made reality thanks to technology developed by Loughborough

The world’s first additive manufacturing (3D printing) machine based on High Speed Sintering(HSS) – a technology developed by a former Loughborough academic – will build plastic parts bigger and faster than ever before.

The machine, which will be built by the University of Sheffield, will manufacture parts up to three times larger and 100 times faster than current comparable additive manufacturing (AM) machines, making it capable of challenging conventional injection moulding for high volume production.

Professor Neil Hopkinson, from the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering, originally filed patents on the process as lead inventor at Loughborough University (Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering). The technology for HSS is being licensed to industrial machine manufacturers on a non-exclusive basis, with new machines being expected on the market from 2017/18.

The £1million project – funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council(EPSRC) – has the potential to transform both manufacture and distribution. Low cost, high volume additive manufacturing would enable parts to be made where they are needed, rather than produced centrally.