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New UK Centre of Excellence for AM announced at MACH

Posted on 15 Apr 2024 and read 532 times
New UK Centre of Excellence for AM announced at MACHUniversity of Wolverhampton – Research project enabling enhanced performance electronic thermal management through EOS M290 pure copper metal 3-D printing (parts designed in nTop)

The University of Wolverhampton and 3-D printing market leaders EOS, and AMCM, have announced today at MACH 2024 that they are joining forces to launch a new UK Centre of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing (AM). The University of Wolverhampton is exhibiting at MACH 2024, taking place 15-19 April at the NEC, Birmingham (Hall 17, Stand 180). EOS will also be exhibiting at the show for the first time (Hall 17, Stand 527).

The partnership will provide access to cutting-edge technology from EOS and AMCM, and specialise in the development of advanced materials and processes for demanding applications within sectors such as space, automotive, aerospace, electronics, and quantum computing.

Partially funded by the UK's Regional Innovation Fund (RIF), The centre will be based in the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) at the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus. It will be a hub for knowledge exchange and research commercialisation activities, catering for local, regional, and global customers.

The University of Wolverhampton’s Additive Manufacturing Research Group and its spin-off company, Additive Analytics, will lead material and process development activities. Industries ranging from automotive and electronics to quantum computing and aerospace are already expressing interest, highlighting the broad applicability of copper AM for thermal management and electrification, due to its exceptional thermal and electrical properties.

Leveraging cutting-edge technologies

While copper has desirable properties, it is challenging to laser process it, hindering its widespread adoption in AM. The work of the consortium aims to address this by leveraging cutting-edge technologies, processes, and expertise to drive efficiency and reduce material waste.

Building on the University of Wolverhampton’s 20-year relationship with EOS machines, the new Centre of Excellence will be bolstered by the adoption of an AMCM 290 FLX, a next-generation laser powder bed fusion system capable of processing challenging materials, such as copper. The AMCM 290 FLX is a customised EOS M 290 machine equipped with ‘state of the art’ nLIGHT beam shaping laser technology, high temperature processing capabilities and excellent oxygen control. The system offers businesses early and easy access to the latest technology and research findings.

Professor Arun Arjunan, director of the ECMS and Centre for Engineering Innovation and Research at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The establishment of the UK Centre of Excellence for copper AM marks a significant milestone in additive manufacturing, setting the stage for a new era of innovation, sustainability, and responsible manufacturing. Future projects will investigate the integration of laser process data and machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies for efficient material and laser process development.”

Nathan Rawlings, sales manager at EOS UK, said: “The UK manufacturing sector has always pushed forward and embraced innovation. Additive Manufacturing with materials such as copper offers huge benefits for product designers, but they can be demanding for manufacturers to work with. This new Centre of Excellence will create and test the processes that enable material benefits to be reliably and consistently realised in real-world manufacturing component manufacturing.”