A $9m 3D printing research and development hub opens in Melbourne


A new ARC Research Hub – The ARC Research Hub for Transforming Australia’s Manufacturing Industry through High Value Additive Manufacturing – was officially launched on Wednesday at Monash University.

3D printing
L-R: The Hon Tony Smith MP, Professor Xinhua Wu and Monash President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner.
Image credit: twitter.com/arc_gov_au

According to the news release by Monash University, the Hub will be led by Professor Xinhua Wu from the Department of Materials Engineering and will focus on 3D printing and its numerous applications in a broad range of industries.

“Aerospace, biomedical and automotive industries are just a few of the sectors that are looking for new and innovative techniques to produce high-performance, complex engineered components,” she said.

“Through this hub, researchers will work to resolve issues surrounding process optimisation to achieve all required mechanical properties in 3D printed metallic products that can be used commercially for flying or in the body. The aim is help boost Australia’s manufacturing industry by securing markets in high value sectors, such as aerospace and biomedical.”

The Research Hub has been awarded $4 million over five years from the ARC through the Industrial Transformation Research Program.

“This technology makes it possible to produce components from computer design files without the need for tooling. This can lead to components being made more efficiently, cost and time-wise, while achieving equivalent or better performance,” said Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Aidan Byrne.

“Technological advances in additive manufacturing also bring significant environmental benefits, allowing the creation of more light-weight products which require reduced energy to produce, and a significant reduction in material waste. This Research Hub will increase the awareness and uptake of metal-based additive manufacturing in Australia. It aims to establish Australia as a global leader in knowledge of additive manufacturing for metal components, with application in industries such as aerospace, automotive, biomedical, space and defence.”

According to the media release by ARC, the Hub will collaborate with Deakin University; The University of Queensland; Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation; Metallica Minerals Limited; Safran-Microturbo SAS; A.W. Bell; Amaero Engineering Pty Ltd; Chassis Brakes International (Australia) Pty Ltd; International Seal Company Australia Pty Ltd; and Kinetic Engineering Services Pty Ltd.

“This initiative will foster research and development projects that could help solve some of the big problems facing our industries today. The support from the ARC and industry partners to create this hub means cutting-edge research on new technologies with the potential to lead to economic and social transformation is now achievable,” said Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner AO.

For more information about the ARC and the Industrial Transformation Research Program, please visit the ARC website.