A new research facility will allow Australian engineers to grab hold of the future, and carve it with some incredible machinery.

An Australian Research Council Hub focussing on metal-based additive manufacturing has been launched at Monash University.

Additive manufacturing, often called ‘3D-printing’, is become a central part of many production processes, and with equipment that can work in metals such as steel or titanium now available, it is fast becoming a replacement to many previous slow and redundant ways of building things.

The $9 million ARC Research Hub for Transforming Australia’s Manufacturing Industry through High Value Additive Manufacturing was officially opened this week.

Australian Research Council (ARC) CEO Professor Aidan Byrne said the new equipmentt can build components from metal alloy powders or wires by selective laser or electron beam melting.

“This technology makes it possible to produce components from computer design files without the need for tooling. This can lead to components being made more efficiently, cost and time-wise, while achieving equivalent or better performance,” said Professor Byrne.

“Technological advances in additive manufacturing also bring significant environmental benefits, allowing the creation of more light-weight products which require reduced energy to produce, and a significant reduction in material waste.

“This Research Hub will increase the awareness and uptake of metal-based additive manufacturing in Australia. It aims to establish Australia as a global leader in knowledge of additive manufacturing for metal components, with application in industries such as aerospace, automotive, biomedical, space and defence.”

The Research Hub will work collaboratively with partners including: Deakin University; The University of Queensland; Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation; Metallica Minerals Limited; Safran-Microturbo SAS; A.W. Bell; Amaero Engineering Pty Ltd; Chassis Brakes International (Australia) Pty Ltd; International Seal Company Australia Pty Ltd; and Kinetic Engineering Services Pty Ltd.

More information about the Hub is available at the ARC website.