Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing

Technologies Component Manufacturing Systems Additive Manufacturing

Innovation in Additive Manufacturing covering the entire process chain

The MTC is home to the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) of metal powders is the fastest growing metal forming technology, with global sales in excess of $30bn. Significant market growth is expected to continue as AM processes enable economic component production with efficient use of materials and vastly increased design freedom, compared to traditional subtractive processes.
With initial funding from the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK, the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing will support the effective exploitation of AM processes, by bridging the gap between market requirements and process reality. The centre provides a unique facility enabling companies to assess and develop the end-to-end capability of AM processes, from powder production to fully finished high integrity components, in a risk free, independent environment.



Core research areas include:
  • Design: The MTC can benchmark a full suite of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfAM) packages, then redesign and manufacture components to showcase what can be achieved. Skills and knowledge can then be embedded into component designers.
  • Powder Management: The MTC has developed a world-class powder characterisation facility for testing of batch/supplier variations to allow independent assessment of supply chain options. Testing includes chemistry, bulk and particulate properties in controlled environments, with the results linked to the performance of the powders in process, so that the true impact of the variability can be quantified.
  • Melt Process: We can develop material processing parameters for electron beam and laser melting platforms to maximise material properties and build speed, while minimising residual stress and defects. Demonstrator components can be produced on platforms including: Arcam A2XX and Q20, Renishaw AM250, EOS M280 and hybrid blown powder systems.
  • Powder Recovery: The MTC can design, implement and validate novel powder handling systems to maximise the usable life of powder. We also offer advice on health and safety considerations for handling fine powders, and how facilities can be designed to minimise risk.
  • Post Processing: Transformation of a built part to a finished component can be a labour and cost intensive process. We benchmark existing thermal and mechanical post-processing steps and equipment, and work with strategic partners to develop automated cost-effective solutions for all component types.
  • Inspection and Validation: The MTC has a comprehensive range of equipment, including ultra-high accuracy Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs), optical scanning, X-ray and ultrasonic testing, which are used for production process development and validation.
  • Pilot Production & Simulation: AM process capability cannot be adequately assessed by the production of a demonstrator component. Instead, we can use our range of equipment to validate the technical and commercial feasibility of producing components at pre-production volumes. Simulation tools can then be used to perform risk analysis around ‘what if’ scenarios within a facility. This can create optimal layouts of a facility for specific customer requirements.
  • Informatics: At the MTC, we can advise how to establish streamlined and secured processes for data transfer through the supply chain, and how to capture and analyse data. This allows informed decisions to be made on process characterisation, process configuration guidelines, and equipment health monitoring. Additionally, there is a long-term ambition to develop autonomous decision-making factories for AM component manufacture.

The MTC facility exudes excellence from the moment you step through the front door.

Steve and his team carry an air of calm and confidence whilst transmitting an absolute passion for what you do.

Best afternoon I’ve spent away from the office for a long, long time.

Send me some boxes to tick, because the visit ticked them all.

Colin St.John
Freefoam Plastics