Government gives £7 million to promote 3D printing
Grants will help firms to speed innovations’ route to market
Report from – Jo Smit
A government backed competition will offer grants totalling £7 million to boost research and development of the innovative 3D printing manufacturing process.
The process, also known as additive manufacturing, allows an individual item to be produced layer by layer, in accordance with a 3D CAD model. A number of research studies are looking at the potential of 3D printing, including Loughborough University’s Build Freeform project, which is exploring the production of concrete building components.
The Inspiring new design freedoms in additive manufacturing competition focuses mainly on innovations to help businesses bring components and consumer items made by 3D printing to market more quickly. It helps innovative UK companies take the next steps to accelerating the adoption of 3D printing technologies, to overcome technical barriers and to explore new business models.
The competition, which opens on 3 December, will be managed by the Technology Strategy Board, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Universities and science minister David Willetts said: “3D printing technologies offer huge potential for UK businesses to compete successfully by embracing radically different manufacturing techniques that could be applied across a wide variety of global market sectors.”