Area 2: Integrated mechanics, components and materials design including additive manufacturing
Concurrently addressing component design, manufacturing process optimisations and material selection/design, with a focus on metallic and functional materials, especially with regards additive manufacturing.
About the research
Component design, manufacturing and material design/selection are in practice interdependent upon one another. Nonetheless, with established technologies, in order to provide focus and depth, these are distinct silos in both research and practice. The component and manufacturing silos each have a point of departure in their own ‘design rules’, creating an innovation gap with materials design. However, the problem in both research and practice is that in order to make use of new technologies, there needs to be a return to inter disciplinary perspective.
This area is therefore addressing the need for:
- A workforce with understanding of interdisciplinary fundamentals and system-level thinking via educational & training activities
- Research that concurrently considers materials design, component design, manufacturing processes and component performance
What we have achieved so far is:
- Shaped a common understanding of the shared research interests across the ITM school, particularly with regards additive manufacturing
- Developed and held interdisciplinary courses on master and PhD level
- Made investments in new research infrastructure - an Electron Beam additive manufacturing Machine (EBM) that can be operated using Open Source Software code for researching a wide range of potential AM parameters
- Held training sessions for researchers across the ITM school in how to safely use the EBM
The current stage of our roadmap is:
- Holding a series of 'hackathons' to assess case problems from industry, where we are conducting explorative research in order to devise feasible project plans for shaping research solutions