I have been an active researcher in the additive manufacturing field for the past 5 years, both during my PhD and subsequently being hired onto research projects. Most of my research has been in the field of multi-axis additive manufacturing and tool path design for complex systems.
Conventional 3D printing works by depositing material in sequential layers to build up a 3-dimensional model. However, this often leads to inherent weakness in the bonding between layers and failure through shearing. By incorporating rotational axis into a printer, we can control the position and orientation of the material extruder nozzle. This enables the ability to move from flat plane printing to curved plane printing. This improves the mechanical behaviour of printed objects by increasing surface and material alignment. This has been the core of my time in academia, and I am excited to see how it continues to develop.
I have also been involved in FEA drive iterative design projects, where I was responsible to interpreting a FEA model to alter an existing design. This was done in order to strengthen the areas of the design that are under the most stress. The overall aim of the project being the creation of design parameters to enable the creation of additive manufacturing enabled low-limb prosthetics.