A ground breaking Metal 3D Printing-Additive Manufacturing programme that will revolutionise manufacturing industries in Ireland was launched at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) last week.
The South East Applied Materials Research Centre (SEAM) at WIT will lead the programme, working with Boston Scientific in Clonmel, the leading medical device multinational; Schivo, an indigenous precision engineering company; and Lisnabrin Engineering, a tool manufacturing County Enterprise Board company.
Metal 3D Printing Additive Manufacturing is an emerging technology that is forecasted to revolutionise the factories of the future. The innovative Metal 3D Printing programme will research metal laser sintering technologies to develop components whoâ€™s geometry is sufficiently complex that they do not lend themselves to conventional machining.
â€œBoston Scientific is proud to be involved in the first multi-company initiative involving metal additive manufacturing, focusing on med tech and industrial applications in collaboration with SEAM (WIT),â€ said Paudie Oâ€™Connor, Vice President, Operations, Boston Scientific. â€œWe believe this will help drive development of new products and efficiencies in our current products.â€
Speaking at the launch, Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, Centre Manager of SEAM and Principal Investigator for this project said, â€œThe new technology we are developing as part of this challenging project offers enormous potential to manufacturing industries in Ireland as it allows streamlining of the manufacturing process by removing multiple process steps, reducing materials handling and the number of components in an assembly, as well as enabling rapid prototyping of functional metal components.â€
The project, which is part funded by Enterprise Ireland under its Innovation Partnership Programme (IPP), will run for two and half years with engineering staff from the three companies working alongside researchers from SEAM in a new space adjacent to the existing SEAM laboratories at WIT.
According to Declan Lyons, Enterprise Ireland, â€œThis latest collaboration between WIT and multi-party industries further underlines the Instituteâ€™s commitment to help stimulate economic growth and enhance technical expertise in the South-East region.â€ He continues, â€œThe SEAM research centre focuses on industry needs in particular, and is of significant importance to the development of and investment in the region.â€