On Wednesday 19th March, sister company Digits2Widgets hosted the first Additive Manufacturing workshop bringing together three different industrial sectors that rely on ceramic structures (traditional tableware ceramics, dentistry and orthopaedics) at their state-of-the-art 3D printing studio and collaborative space in Camden.

It was a fantastic turnout with a good balance of academics and industrial players along the materials/ producer/ service provider supply chain.

During 2013 the powders section of the Materials KTN created a roadmap document that outlines the challenges and opportunities for materials in the field of dentistry. As Materials KTN representatives attended seminars and discussion groups to facilitate creation of the roadmap, a concern repeatedly voiced was the potential missed opportunity for the direct manufacture of crowns etc. using Additive manufacture.

It has long been recognised that ceramic (and to a lesser extent) glass powders throw up a number of barriers to Additive Manufacture: Unlike polymer and metal powders there is no efficient melting and connection of powder particles. As a result, porosity in the final 3-D shape becomes almost inevitable.

The intention of the day was hoped by bringing together three different sectors to generate a synergy whereby a sharing of commercial drivers and technical challenges to stimulate ideas for the future.

The generation of R&D projects suitable for submission under futureTechnology Strategy Board was a key objective for the meeting.

Details to follow soon with up and coming events and registration.