Professor Richard Bibb

Pronouns: He/him

PhD, University of Wales, July 1999: “The Development of a Rapid Prototyping Selection System for Small Companies” BSc (Hons) Industrial Design, First Class, Brunel University, July 1995

  • Professor of Medical Applications of Design

Professor Bibb graduated from Brunel University in 1995 with a BSc (Hons) in Industrial Design. He then ‎moved to the National Centre for Product Design and Development Research (PDR), based at Cardiff Metropolitan University to undertake doctoral research in Rapid Prototyping. This study involved the development of a computerised Rapid Prototyping selection system for designers in small companies.

After gaining his PhD in 1999 he established the Medical Applications Group at PDR to conduct collaborative applied research in medical applications of design technologies such as CAD and 3D Printing. He rose to the position of Director of Research ‎for PDR before moving to Loughborough University in 2008.‎ In 2014 he established the Digital Design & Fabrication research lab (DDF) which focuses on ‎advanced computer-aided design (CAD), 3D ‎Printing and Additive Manufacturing technologies.

He was recently the University lead for submission to the REF 2021 Unit of Assessment D32 Art & Design. From 2015 to 2020 he served as Associate Dean for Research (ADR) with responsibility for all aspects of research in Loughborough Design School and latterly the School of Design & Creative Arts. From 1st November 2017 until 30th June 2018, he served a period as Acting Dean of Loughborough Design School.

Professor Bibb's personal research focus is the application of advanced product design and development ‎technologies in medicine, surgery, rehabilitation and assistive technology.

Professor Bibb's research explores the application of advanced product design and development ‎technologies in medicine, surgery, rehabilitation and assistive technology. In collaboration with academic colleagues, practicing clinicians, patients, carers and manufacturers this research explores the application of medical 3D scanning, advanced CAD, 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing ‎in modelling patient anatomy, design / manufacture of prostheses, surgical planning and the design/‎manufacture of surgical guides and the design and development of medical devices, surgical instruments, assistive and rehabilitation products,‎ 3D printed fluidics and 3D printed pharmaceuticals.

In 2014 he established the Digital Design and Fabrication research lab (DDF) which focuses on ‎advanced computer-aided design (CAD), 3D ‎Printing and Additive Manufacturing technologies but also encompasses associated technologies such as 3D scanning, laser cutting and CNC ‎machining. The group feeds into Loughborough University’s campus-wide Loughborough University Additive ‎Manufacturing ‎Network.‎

Professor Bibb’s previous research collaborations have focused on head and neck reconstruction, prosthetic rehabilitation, dental technology and orthotics, achieving significant world firsts in the computer-aided design of removable partial denture frameworks, direct additive manufacture of removable partial denture frameworks using selective laser melting, the design and manufacture of surgical guides using selective laser melting, the application of computer-aided design and additive manufacturing in maxillofacial prosthetics and the computer-aided design and additive manufacture of custom-fitting wrist splints.

New knowledge gained through this research has also been transferred into other disciplines including Fine Art, Heritage, ‎Archaeology and Forensic Pathology, leading to a number of successful long-term collaborations.

Professor Bibb devised and currently leads the final year undergraduate optional module Design for 3D Printing (DSC124). He also contributes to Final Year Design Practice (DSC026) and postgraduate Major Design Projects (DSP859).

Professor Bibb is actively engaged in transferring new knowledge gained through research into industrial and clinical practice. This research has also been transferred to Fine Art, Heritage, Archaeology and Forensic Pathology, through long-term collaborations.

He has contributed to enterprise projects, attracting funding from EPSRC Impact Accelerator, ERDF, Innovate UK including supervising 8 KTPs, and industry consultancy projects through Loughborough University Enterprises Ltd.

As head of Medical Applications at PDR, he established the UK’s leading medical modelling service that supplied thousands of medical models to over 60 hospitals, research groups, museums and medical companies worldwide.


  • Fellow of the Design Research Society
  • Member of the Design Society
  • Global Disability Innovation Hub – Academic Board Member and member of the Inclusive Infrastructure Advisory Group
  • Member of the University of East Anglia Health & Social Care Partners Point of Care 3D Printing research group
  • Peer Review College member for the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) from January 2006 to date and Strategic Advisory Team member for Healthcare Technologies (1st April 2014 to 31st December 2017)
  • Peer Review College member for the Arts & Humanities Research Council (1st January 2009 31st December 2013) and Technical Reviewers’ and Knowledge Transfer group (1st January 2013 to 31st December 2016) for the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Editorial Advisory Board member for the Rapid Prototyping Journal from 2006 to date
  • Editorial Advisory Board member for the International Journal of Bioprinting from 23rd March 2015 to date

Current PhD supervision

  • Design for multimaterial Additive Manufacturing, James Willmott – (starting October 2021)
  • Rapid and Low-Cost Printing of articulated joints using Additive Manufacturing, Nesrin Yuksel (started January 2021)
  • Developing a Sustainable Creative Cluster from the Perspective of Cultural Industry: A Case Study of the Yaozhou Kiln Culture, Renjie Yang (started January 2021)
  • Contemporary Jewellery: An investigation into jewellery and additive manufacturing as an aid for wellbeing, Yajie Hu – (starting October 2021)
  • Reinvigorate Chinese Inlay Technique in Jewellery Design and Practice with the use of CAD/CAM applications, Wenyan Luo – (starting October 2021)

Research Degree Supervision Completions

  • The effect of whole-body heating and cooling in Multiple Sclerosis, Aikaterini Christogianni, 2021 (viva passed subject to corrections)
  • Emotionally driven Prostheses: Exploring the Effects on Users’ Lives and Societies’ Attitudes in the UK and Greece, Anna Vlachaki, 2020 press release, The Conversation
  • Design rules for wearable medical devices, Sarah Kelly, 2019 (EPSRC CDT in Additive Manufacturing and Materialise)
  • Investigating new materials for maxillofacial prosthetics, Sophia Tetteh, 2019
  • Understanding wrist splint user needs and personalisation through codesign, ‎Charlotte Pyatt, 2019
  • Consumer Designing/Partially Designing Products, Syahibudil Ikhwan, 2018
  • Specifying a Hybrid, Multiple Material CAD System for Next Generation Prosthetic Design, Troy Bodkin, 2017
  • ‎Development of Virtual and Synthetic Human Surrogate Models for Sports Personal Protective Equipment Testing, Tom Payne, 2015
  • Optimising user-centred approaches to design practice in Botswana: Challenges for the Industry and Education Institutions, Matthews Ollyn, 2015
  • User-Centred Design methods for home use medical devices: Processes and Methods, ‎Tom Grant, 2014
  • Digitisation of the splinting process; development of a CAD workflow for upper extremity splint design and fabrication, Abby Paterson, Loughborough University, 2013
  • The Development of Design Rules for Selective Laser Melting, Daniel Thomas, University of Wales, 2009
  • Investigation of the Application of Computer Aided Design and Fabrication of Facial Prostheses, Dominic Eggbeer, University of Wales, 2008
  • Design and Prototype of an Improved Test Rig for Racing Wheelchairs, Jeremy Moody, University of Wales, 2007
  • The 3D Analysis of Facial Morphology, Chung How Kau, Cardiff University, 2007