NCAM boosts capability for printing high-strength components

The National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, based at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, has boosted its polymer additive manufacturing capabilities with investment in a Carbon M2 printer powered by the Carbon Digital Light Synthesis process.

The Carbon DLS process is a resin-based system that can print a wide range of high-strength, functional end-use parts. Thanks to the Carbon M2’s ability to process high performance, engineering-grade materials, these components have found applications in a wide range of industries including automotive and aerospace.

The Carbon M2 printer is enabling the MTC to improve its overall polymer printing capabilities. Recent work has resulted in the MTC becoming a certified Carbon Production Network Partner, thereby demonstrating a proven capability in producing components in a variety of Carbon 3D materials.

The MTC’s Carbon DLS capability allows NCAM to offer new high performance components with high temperature resistance – up to 230 degrees centigrade. The materials available also include engineering elastomers such as elastomeric polyurethane and silicone urethane, as well as two variants of engineering rigid polyurethane.

Carbon’s high temperature materials have potential in industrial applications such as heat sinks and manifolds, while elastomeric polyurethane is commonly used in automotive and consumer products, and silicone has potential in wearables.

Hoda Amel, senior research engineer at NCAM, said, “The Carbon DLS process will help enhance our polymer offerings, allowing customers a great variety of material choice and functional, aesthetic parts for their polymer additive manufacturing projects.”

Gary Miller, head of European partner and market development from Carbon, said, “The National Centre for Additive Manufacturing has been influential in inspiring British manufacturing. By leveraging the Carbon DLS process and engineering-grade materials, the MTC is well positioned to highlight the discovery of applications that outperform at every step, while reducing cost. Carbon is excited to partner with the MTC and we look forward to developing applications together that are suited for our production materials.”

The National Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the MTC brings together one of the most comprehensive combinations of additive manufacturing equipment and capability in the UK. It is also home to the European Space Agency’s Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Centre.

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.

The MTC hosts the National Centre for AM (NCAM), which accelerates the adoption of AM by developing the technology and systems required to industrialise AM

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