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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S036717/1
Title: Temporal Design for Additive Manufacture: GrowCAD
Principal Investigator: Thomas-Seale, Dr L
Other Investigators:
Dyson, Professor RJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Autodesk Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Moog Controls Ltd
The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 01 February 2020 Ends: 31 August 2023 Value (£): 237,591
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Engineering Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt
Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Jun 2019 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 11 and 12 June 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Additive manufacture, also known as 3D printing, offers many benefits to industry and medicine such as reductions in weight, material costs and medical implants personalised to the patient. Currently additive manufacture has a relatively low uptake due to a series of technical barriers that are preventing its progression into end-use parts. One of these barriers is design. Design for additive manufacture (DfAM) requires the engineer to think in a different way, one that is the completely opposite to design for traditional manufacturing methods such as milling. Similarly, the majority of software on the market is computer aided design (CAD) which has been developed to support the design of parts using traditional manufacturing methods.

This research approaches this challenge, from a radically different perspective. Growth in animals and plants involves the expansion and multiplication of cells, to incrementally increase the volume of the form. In this way additive manufacture, which bonds material point by point, is analogous to growth. Two novel design techniques will be developed in this project. They are drawn from concepts seen in the development of the fetus and the plant root, and integrated into a software called GrowCAD. The development of GrowCAD will create a software interface which is more intuitive to DfAM. The platform will also incorporate Temporal Design, which will increase creativity in the design of additively manufactured materials. The design approaches will be confirmed against the AM and testing of biomaterials for cardiovascular implants and three industrial applications proposed by the project partners.

This project offers a solution to the challenges that face DfAM, across industrial and medical applications. This research offers benefits to the UK economy by increasing the uptake of additive manufacture, and the inherent upskilling of design engineers through use of the software. In addition, there will be benefits to society through increased creativity in the design of cardiovascular implants, and thus enhanced levels of personalisation in healthcare.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk