The triple Queen’s Award winning 3D printing specialists Photocentric, which has production hubs in Oxney Road and Titan Drive, has been chosen by the government agency Innovate UK to lead a pioneering project that could transform mass manufacturing.
The focus is on finding ways to use new materials that provide eco-friendly benefits in large scale production and that also drive the creation of jobs.
Photocentric, which employs 200 people, will use some of its 3D printing processes to enable Silicon Carbibe to be used in mass manufacturing.
Qualities such as a resistance to extreme temperatures as well as being a good conductor of heat, make Silicon Carbide ideal for a variety of manufacturing uses. Yet its extreme hardness make it one of the most challenging materials to use.
Photocentric managing director Paul Holt said: “The project uses some of the 3D printing technology we invented to create useful products from Silicon Carbide - one of the hardest and most resilient substances on the planet.
“It is remarkably cheap and under-used because it’s very difficult to make into useful objects.
”But we can do it simply and low cost by printing it.”
A project spokesman said: “This will place the UK at the forefront of using novel materials that provide energy saving benefits, create more jobs and provide technological benefits over Asian imported products.”