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Katy Milne


DRAMA - Enabling Adoption of Additive for Aerospace

For the UK’s aerospace sector to take a leading position in the exploitation of AM, capability must be developed and deployed throughout the UK supply chain – both within the existing suppliers and also by supporting additive manufacturing firms to gain entry to the aerospace sector. The barriers are significant: cost of capital investment is high, maturity of technologies varies, readiness of primes to act as intelligent customers, high level of quality and regulations to supply into aerospace. However, the adoption of additive is progressing with companies further down the supply chain exploring the potential of additive for their businesses.

Through a £14.3m project called DRAMA, a consortium led by the UK’s National Centre for Additive Manufacturing is developing tools and building facilities to help UK companies gain competitive advantage in the aerospace and additive manufacturing supply chains.

The 3-year project started in November 2017. This presentation will give an update on progress at the midway point.

With insights from leading aerospace airframers, engine and system manufacturers, DRAMA will enable supply chain companies to:

• Access facilities where they can learn how to accelerate establishment of the AM process chain – from printing to inspection – to aerospace standards.

• Access digital tools to support product and process optimisation.

• Road test training.

• Road test expert support packages, which will help them understand the opportunity, to develop their business case and to develop their processes.

• Access know-how via an online portal – the Knowledge Hub - for additive manufacturing resources.

The new facilities being built at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Coventry will house a range of metal powder bed technologies and post processing. The facilities will be digitally twinned to help companies rapidly optimise their products and processes.


Dr Katy Milne is the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing’s lead for project DRAMA. Previously, Katy established the Metrology & Non-destructive Testing group at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) with research focusing on inspection for additive manufacturing.

The purpose of DRAMA is to develop and demonstrate national assets to enable the adoption of additive manufacturing by the UK aerospace supply chain. The project will establish an additive manufacturing ‘learning factory’ – a digitally enabled environment where supply chain companies can learn about the capability of AM processes, equipment, facilities and software. The project team will build and share knowledge that will support the supply chain.

This presentation will talk about the ambition of the DRAMA project and its alignment with the Additive Manufacturing UK National Strategy and the outcomes of our industrial consultation with the UK aerospace sector. It will also describe ways for component manufacturers and technology providers to engage with the project.


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