I have worked in the field of Additive Manufacturing (AM) for around 15 years, beginning with my postgraduate work and then in both the automotive and aerospace sectors at Honda and GKN Aerospace. As an R&D engineer at Honda I ran various blue-sky R&D programmes looking at several applications of AM to tooling and direct production of next-generation automotive components. At GKN, as Head of AM, I was responsible for setting up and running a multi-centre R&D organisation looking at various forms of AM production routes.
Today, after a short stint as an independent AM consultant, I work in Swindon in a company called Scaled that I set up along with long-time friend David Speight. We provide consulting and services for large-scale FDM, working on projects involving assemblies and systems up to around 6m in scale using parts manufactured on our own in-house equipment. Projects that we are currently involved in range from printing railway infrastructure through to printed tooling for automotive CFRP applications.
In the past I have been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Warwick as well as being a regular contributing author to the annual Wohlers Report for three years, which is the main publication providing commentary and analysis on the AM and 3D printing industry.
The RHIFALS project is a collaborative project involving large-scale 3D printing specialists Scaled, robotics and automation experts Loop Technology, supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive and the University of Warwick’s Digital and Materials Technology Laboratory. The project’s focus is to develop a connected digital monitoring and decision-making control system for robot-based FDM, which is capable of managing a print queue containing build files of various priorities, types and sizes and managing the robot’s activities across printing and machining to optimise the production schedule, increase parts quality and reduce human intervention required when operating this production system. I would like to propose that our potential presentation deals with a general overview of the project and progress to date.
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