As reported here, the centre will be part of the Innovate 2 Make (i2M) project, which focuses on designing and manufacturing metal components for the aerospace, automotive, motorsport and medical sectors. 

They have invested £750,000 on premises on Tachbrook Park, Leamington Spa, and acquired an EOS M280 400 watt laser melting platform. It has been supported by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS). 

"Additive manufacturing has the potential to cause a paradigm shift in the way we design and make things," said Ian Campbell, one of the engineers, who has worked in air weapons in Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), IBM, TWR and Arrows F1.  

"We can now manufacture from the inside out and, through the use of layers, achieve angles and shapes that a few years ago would have been impossible," Campbell added. "There's a lot of people and universities talking about additive manufacturing or venturing into making the odd prototype. We are looking at this technology with a view to developing techniques and processes that will guarantee high-quality components in medium to high volumes." 

Dr Bruno Le Razer, the materials scientist who is responsible for material development, stated: "You can secure massive weight and cost savings by using alternative materials and embracing additive manufacturing. We've already seen the effect of changing airline seat belt buckles from steel to titanium, with a total weight savings of 74 kg achieved through this technology. Based on the life cycle of an Airbus A380, this equates to a 3,300,000 litres fuel savings and 740,000 less tonnes of CO2 emissions."

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