CEO of the Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC) Andrew McLellan, cannot speak highly enough of the Centre for Additive Manufacturing or its director Milan Brandt.
McLellan credits Professor Brandt with helping shape the focus of his Centre.
"We've been in operation for seven years, and one of the things we've highlighted is that additive manufacturing is a technology of extremely high priority for Australian manufacturers," he says.
"RMIT has been a partner of the AMCRC right from the outset. Milan Brandt has been a fundamental partner and helped us realise that additive manufacturing is a key focus for the future."
The AMCRC has done a number of different projects with the Centre and other partner companies, and according to McLellan "they've all been very successful."
One such collaboration was on a $6 million industry project with a company called ANCA Machine Tools, a market leader in quality Computer Numerical Control (CNC) grinding machines.
Seven years into a working relationship with the Centre, McLellan credits Professor Brandt with helping shape the focus of his organisation. "We've been in operation for seven years, and one of the things we've highlighted is that additive manufacturing is a technology of extremely high priority for Australian manufacturers," he says.
Another highly successful project involved the Centre, the AMCRC and seven companies jointly winning a grant under the Victorian Government's Manufacturing Productivity Networks program.
“The project looked at how additive manufacturing could be used in each of the companies’ business systems," McLellan said. Those seven companies ranged from multinationals such as Agilent technologies - a leader in life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets - through to Anatomies, an Australian-owned medical device company.
"We were trying to get companies familiar with 3D printing, to utilise it in their businesses and to undertake R&D into it," says McLellan. Describing the project as a "roaring success", McLellan says that the Centre for Additive Manufacturing was "the core provider of technology, capability and experience. It was crucial to the project." Asked whether he would collaborate with the Centre in the future, McLellan doesn't hesitate. "Yes, 100% we would work with them in the future."
"We deal with a huge amount of research organisations around the country, and from a personal perspective I think it is extremely beneficial to bring companies into the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct at RMIT."
“Manufacturers walk into RMIT's manufacturing precinct and see machine grinding centres. Even the flooring is equivalent to what you experience on a manufacturing floor. I've used the Centre to help engage companies quite frequently. They really get it."
"The Centre is well positioned because it covers the full gamut of 3D printing technologies, right through from base plastic consumer type systems to your high-value metal-based printing."