UK calls for evidence of additive manufacturing benefits

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The people behind the UK national strategy for additive manufacturing and 3D printing have called for evidence to support its development. Initial evidence should be submitted by 15 June 2015.

The strategy is organised by public and private experts, including Neil Mantle from Rolls-Royce as chairman. Other representatives are from Innovate UK, TWI, the University of Nottingham, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, GKN Aerospace, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

The group is asking for input from individuals, organisations and communities with an interest in AM or 3D printing to help decide how they should proceed.

In March, the steering group published its strategy positioning paper, which predicted that the UK AM market could reach £5.7 billion and sustain 63,000 jobs by 2020. According to the steering group, AM technologies will also underpin the high value manufacturing sector, which is currently worth £151 billion, and sustaining 1.6 million jobs.

The group has said that the UK is among global leaders when it comes to AM but that there are gaps in the industrial ecosystem that need to be filled in order to truly make the most of the technology.

The positioning paper concluded that the market was currently lacking in technology awareness, skills, education, machine and materials supply, support to businesses in adopting AM, and access to finance and clustering.

‘It can be concluded that the only robust and sustainable approach to address these market failures and ensure maximum economic benefit from this new technology is to develop a government supported UK strategy for rapid, high value industrialisation of AM. It is therefore recommended that government engages with the already ongoing effort by industry and research to develop a UK national strategy in AM,’ the paper stated.

Also, other nations are developing their own programmes to maximise AM’s potential, providing those nations with ‘a significant advantage as they co-ordinate and focus their research, innovation and commercialisation activities relating to AM-3DP,' according to the AM national strategy website.

To submit evidence there are a number of options: either on-line by clicking here, via a Word Document (available here) or a more substantial document which could be included as an appendix to the final strategy publication using the template available by clicking here. Evidence should be to be emailed to by 15 June 2015.

Once the evidence is collected, it will be analysed from July to September 2015 before a final strategy is made between October 2015 and February 2016.

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