A range of innovative research and development projects, utilising 3D printing techniques, have received a major funding boost from the UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the The Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The funding, worth £14.7m in total (including company investment of £6.3m) will see companies and business-led consortia undertake a wide range of collaborative R&D projects, in areas as diverse as:
- A just in time 'pizza box' style delivery of bespoke knee replacement parts and surgical instruments, with 3D printing/additive manufacturing techniques providing bespoke manufacture, high volume and low cost
- The production of orthotic insoles, with 3D printing replacing traditional hand-made techniques. The 3D printing manufacturing method allows shape of the insoles and properties of the materials to be altered to exactly match the needs of a patient's foot.
- The development of specialist, combination glass/metal coatings for replacement hip joints, significantly reducing the need to secondary hip replacement surgery and potentially achieving significant savings for the NHS.
- A new micro-turbine, initially be targeted at the market for range extenders for electric vehicles, but also be suitable for micro-chip, concentrating solar power, and waste heat to power conversion
The funding was announced today by the secretary of State for Business, innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, on a visit to the Manufacturing Technology Centre, one of Technology Strategy Board's High Value Manufacturing catapult centres.
QMT News: July 2013
Potentially game-changing '3D printing' technologies receive £14.7m funding boost
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