3D printing solutions for industry

3D printing solutions for industry

Industry-led research at RMIT’s 3D printing facility is being recognised for giving students, staff and businesses the edge in a competitive landscape.

The university’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP) has been nominated for ‘excellence in manufacturing skills development’ at this month's Endeavour Awards, while a project to 3D print steel tools with industry partners is up for a ‘technology application’ prize. 

The Endeavour Awards are recognised as the premier awards program within the Australian manufacturing industry and held during National Manufacturing Week

AMP Technical Director Professor Milan Brandt said the $35 million facility, now in its eight year of operation, was widely recognised as Australia’s best for advanced manufacturing research and skills development.

“This facility underpins our expertise in additive manufacturing and helps our partners create bespoke solutions - new products, processes or business models - that give them the edge,” Brandt said.

09 May 2019

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Growing interest in these opportunities is reflected in the AMP’s annual additive manufacturing research income passing $4million in 2019.

The AMP hosts collaborative research with more than 40 companies including Ford, Siemens and Boeing and hosts dozens of international delegations each year.

Examples of industry-led research at the AMP facility include: 

  • 3D printing implants to replace bone removed in cancer surgery, improving chances of saving limbs. Industry partners: St Vincent's Hospital, University of Technology Sydney, Stryker and Innovative Manufacturing CRC.
  • 3D printing steel tools strong enough to handle titanium, saving time and money for aerospace and defence manufacturers working with super hard materials. Industry partners: DMTC and Sutton Tools.
  • Using 3D printers to repair aircraft and mining machine parts with a bond as strong as the original, avoiding the purchase, storage and shipping of replacement parts. Industry partners: Defence Science & Technology, DMTC, RUAG.
  • Designing next generation 3D printers to make plastics that withstand high temperatures and pressure for parts in aerospace and automotive industries. Industry partner: Siemens
09 May 2019

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PhD student Jimmy Toton inspects a 3D-printed steel tool.

Additive manufacturing is a major disruptive technology that is transforming existing approaches to manufacturing.

“These technologies have the potential to deliver a ‘quantum leap’ in the manufacturing process, dramatically increasing manufacturing flexibility, efficiency and customer responsiveness, and significantly reducing time to market, cost and energy consumption,” Brandt said.

“This is especially exciting for biomedical devices, aerospace, defence and mining industries.”

As a leader in high-end manufacturing capability for metals and polymeric materials in 3D printing and additive manufacturing, RMIT's AMP has played a leading role in meeting the needs of manufacturing industry locally and globally.

“We look to work with forward-thinking manufacturing companies, independent of size or background, in order to create an environment for innovation and collaboration where we can all learn and benefit from the interaction," Brandt said.

Visit us at National Manufacturing Week in Melbourne from May 14 to 17 or email amp@rmit.edu.au any time.

Story: Michael Quin

  • Research
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Science and technology
  • Industry

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