leap in tiny technology
--- A £10
million project that aims to put the UK at the
forefront of future micro-manufacturing technology
is being launched at The University of Nottingham
The 3-D Mintegration project will look at the challenges facing the manufacturing
sector over the next five to 10 years in the production of tiny three-dimensional
components that could be used in everything from microscopic drug delivery
implants to devices for the aerospace industry.
It will bring together scientists and engineers with industry partners
to develop innovative new technologies for every step of the manufacturing
process — design, processing, assembly, packaging and product testing.
By the end of the project, the group hopes to have cracked the issues
involved in reel-to-reel production, where products can be manufactured
using a similar method to the way in which newspapers are printed.
They will also be considering ‘origami' manufacturing, where objects
are created by a process of mechanical folding.
The four-year initiative will be funded with almost £10 million from
the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, university-based
Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres (IMRCs) and industry. It will
involve five IMRCs — including the Nottingham Innovative Manufacturing
Research Centre — two further partner research organisations and strong
collaborative support from around 30 industry partners.
Dr Svetan Ratchev, of the Nottingham Innovative Manufacturing Research
Centre, said: “One critical issue we are looking at is whether, by being
innovative and smart, we can develop new manufacturing processes that will
allow us to produce high volumes of high-cost, high-value micro products.
“This is a key economic driver — by developing innovative processes we can make
it cost-effective to produce complex 3D multimaterial products in this country,
which will help to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in micro-manufacturing.”
The launch event, being held in the University's Trent Building tomorrow
from 9am to 4pm, will feature a welcome from Dr Richard Masterman, the
University's Director of Research Innovation Services, and a presentation
from Dr Marc Desmulliez of Heriot-Watt University, which is leading the
|The other institutions and
companies involved in 3-D Mintegration are: Cambridge
Institute for Manufacturing (IFM) at Cambridge
University; Cranfield Innovative Manufacturing
Research Centre (CIMRC) at Cranfield University;
Loughborough Innovative Manufacturing and Construction
Research Centre (LIMCRC) at Loughborough University;
Scottish Manufacturing Institute (SMI) at Heriot-Watt
University; The University of Greenwich; the
National Physical Laboratory; eight major companies
and 21 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
More information is available from Dr Svetan Ratchev on +44 (0)115 951
4018, firstname.lastname@example.org or Press Officer Emma Thorne in the
University's Public Affairs Office on +44 (0)115 951 5793, email@example.com
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