Projects in Additive manufacturing (3D printing) of metals

Additive manufacturing (AM) of metals is a world-apart from the simple 3D printers used to build cheap plastic parts that you’ll be familiar with!

Machines for building metals fill a room and cost hundreds of thousands of pounds; processing requires strict control due to the demanding industrial and medical applications for which the built parts are destined.

Significant challenges still exist for the widespread adoption of AM of metals. For example, porosity and residual stresses in printed parts can degrade their mechanical properties and dimensional accuracy. It is not yet feasible to simply print a new part from a digital file: part-specific print development is required to validate the build strategy and the mechanical properties produced. Overcoming these limitations is the subject of intense worldwide research and development.

Our world-leading research into metal AM has led to academic collaboration with most of the other leading research groups worldwide. We also collaborate closely with Renishaw, the only UK manufacturer of laser powder bed fusion (PBF) metal AM systems, to improve the quality and productivity of their PBF process. Industry is increasingly exploring applications for laser PBF, so it's an extremely exciting time for the technology.

The project can involve studying any aspect of laser PBF that aligns with your particular interests. This includes: understanding process fundamentals, numerical modelling of the thermal processes, how current application challenges are being addressed (e.g. residual stresses, porosity) and the new topological design approaches that are now feasible.

Due to the cost and complexity of operating the machines, no project can involve printing your own metal parts. However, you will have an opportunity to see the machines in action!

Supervisor name: 
Prof. A.J. Moore
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses:

Related MSc programmes: