The National Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, England has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Lucideon Limited, a materials consultancy based in Stoke-on-Trent. The agreement establishes a framework through which MTC and Lucideon will advance ceramic additive manufacturing technologies and associated applications.
The overarching goal of the MoU is to establish the UK as a center of excellence for ceramics additive manufacturing, an evolving segment of the broader additive industry that is being explored in the aerospace, electronics, defense, medical and dental sectors, among others.
Today, ceramic 3D printing in the UK is still nascent. That is, while some companies and organizations have experience in the field, the adoption and use of AM with ceramic materials is still not as established as in other hubs, like France and Austria, for instance. The MTC and Lucideon are hoping to shift the landscape through their partnership, creating opportunities for ceramic AM in the UK. The partners will achieve this by exploring materials and processes while also offering access to AM facilities to businesses in the ceramics sector. One of the aims is to showcase the benefits of AM to ceramics manufacturers and companies.
“Additive manufacturing is one of the fastest growing technologies in manufacturing and certainly has a future in the ceramics sector,” commented Tom Wasley, NCAM Senior Research Engineer. “There is worldwide interest in the technology, so it is important that the UK explores how technology can provide a competitive edge.”
The MTC will provide resources through its National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, a state-of-the-art facility with a broad range of additive manufacturing equipment. The center is also the home to the European Space Agency’s Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Centre. Lucideon, for its part, will provide its expertise in materials technology and processes, which spans several industries. The company has a deep knowledge of ceramics, with roots as the British Ceramics Research Association in the 1940s, making it the ideal partner for this endeavour.