The EPSRC Centre’s research activities primarily take place in its new Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing laboratory at The University of Nottingham.
Specially laid out for our research activities, the facility also incorporates three separate laboratory rooms with restricted access for confidential work.
In 2014, the research group in partnership with the School of Pharmacy has been successful in securing funding from EPSRC of £2.7M for additional quipment.
The lab has been significantly extended to house bespoke additive manufacturing equipment for research into multifunctional AM.
In addition to a new suite of analytical equipment, the main systems installed are:
- the ‘Toucan’, a bespoke six head ink jetting system by Roth & Rau. It can print structural and functional materials (such as electronic circuits / components for and circuit boards) in one go, using up to six different materials at once including metallic and ceramic loaded , ceramic and wax-based ‘‘inks” as well as a variety of reactive polymers. Each print layer can be custom designed with the machine’s custom CAD design software. This technology will increase the enable the manufacture of 3D printed electronics efficiency of printed electronics without the need for multiple machines.
- a two photon lithography system from Nanoscribe which is capable of printing polymer-based materials up to 100 × 100 mm². This machine will be used in the lab for industrial applications such as printing and replicating micro-lenses, micro antenna devices for and masts for smartphones as well as medical research.
- a bespoke metal-jetting facility, developed in partnership with Demcon and Océ. The only machine of this kind in the world, it will help refine metal printing processes for applications such 3D electronics. Its four print heads allow it to print real molten metal such as silver, tin and copper – as well as semi-conducting materials – at temperatures up to 1,800 degrees Celsius. These capabilities are will make the machine ideal for printing semiconductors, transistors and functional electronics more easily and efficiently.
The new equipment is internationally unique and will enable the research group to make significant steps into multifunctional AM research.