Sheffield based Additive Manufacturing Technologies Ltd (AMT), a 3D Printing Business Directory-listed company specializing on the development of automated post-processing solutions for 3D printing, is to lead a consortium to develop an automated post processing machine for 3D Printed polymer parts. Xaar plc, the UK’s leading industrial inkjet manufacturer, and Atomjet Ltd, a designer and manufacturer of specialist technology machines, join AMT in the development consortium for the 2-year project.
The £624,000 award is co-funded between Innovate UK and the consortium members. The Innovate UK award enables AMT to develop the next generation of their existing patent pending PostPro3D™ post processing technology.
“The Innovate UK funding award is a significant step in the development of the proven PostPro3D™ technology which provides the ‘missing piece’ in the digital manufacturing chain. We are looking forward to working with OEM industrial partners to implement this technology into their 3D Printing digital factories”, said Joseph Crabtree, CEO of AMT, on the award announcement.
Currently, 3D Printed parts must undergo manual post processing operations to produce an acceptable surface finish. These manual processes add significant cost and slow down production rates, thereby eroding many of the benefits of the 3D Printing.
AMT’s existing PostPro3D technology allows manufacturers to seamlessly surface finish 3D printed parts for aesthetically demanding products ranging from sports shoes to dental implants. This surface finishing is based on the proprietary PUSh™ process exclusively licenced to AMT by the University of Sheffield.
The next generation automated machine will achieve an industry first by incorporating intelligent algorithms and automated feedback to produce a predictable and repeatable surface finish. By fully integrating PostPro3D™ into digital manufacturing chain the technology will for the first time enable 3D Printing to compete with and displace traditional manufacturing.
“We are delighted to join the consortium and bring our expertise to developing PostPro3D™. We see this project, in conjunction with High Speed Sintering, as an important step in the development and commercial delivery of industrial 3D Printing.” said Prof Neil Hopkinson, Director of 3D Printing at Xaarjet Ltd.
“We are excited to be involved with the project to develop the PostPro3D machine. Our machine building skills are ideally suited to industrial digital manufacturing equipment,” added Atomjet CEO, Rob Harvey.