Abby specialises in 3D scanning, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and digital, automated fabrication (including CNC milling and Additive Manufacture). She is the Programme Director for the Design for Additive Manufacturing Postgraduate course. She is also a module leader on a number of modules in the Design School which focus on digital data acquisition, design and digital fabrication.
Having graduated in 2008 in Product Design and Technology (BSc) at Loughborough University, Abby continued her academic career by pursuing a PhD in 3D Scanning, CAD and Additive Manufacture for medical applications, specifically for the fabrication of custom-fitted wrist splints using Additive Manufacture. Upon completion of her PhD research at Loughborough University, she was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Manchester in the School of Materials. There, she gained an appreciation for materials science and metrology, specifically high accuracy imaging of Additive Manufactured materials. She continued her research interests in digital design and fabrication for customisation of consumer and medical devices and returned to the Loughborough Design School as a lecturer in 2014.
She is currently completing a 12-month industrial fellowship, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. The industrial partner, Central Scanning, focuses on 3D scanning but also provides a number of additional services including CAD for reverse engineering and also Additive Manufacturing services. Topics of the fellowship will draw together Abby’s previous knowledge/skillsets in 3D scanning, CAD, Additive Manufacture and metrology in an industrial context to give industrially relevant teaching material in the Design Schools’ undergraduate and postgraduate courses (specifically the Design for Additive Manufacture postgraduate course).
In addition to her Fellowship, Abby has received funding from Arthritis Research UK to advance her PhD research; the original project focused on the development of specialised 3D CAD software, specifically developed for hand therapists so they could design splints quickly and efficiently in preparation for Additive Manufacture. The funding by ARUK has helped accelerate the development of this software, previously a prototype, into a fully functional software plugin. The project has been evaluated by a number of hand therapists across the UK, demonstrating effective translation of traditional fabrication processes into a digital process.
In addition to Abby’s research interests, she is also passionate about teaching, student engagement, and student support. In 2015, Abby was awarded A Loughborough university Teaching Innovation Award to explore the use of Virtual Learning Environments and efficiency of using different digital learning mediums such as screencapture recordings to enhance student learning. The project involved eye-tracking to understand students’ engagement with the virtual environment.
Abby also engages with consultancy work through the Loughborough University Enterprises Ltd.
Key areas of expertise: design for Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing; advanced Computer-Aided Design; design rules for Additive Manufacturing; specialised modelling strategies; medical applications of Additive Manufacturing; digital design for wearable and custom fitting products; 3D laser scanning; generative algorithms; open-sourcing; Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling; medical product design.