Ireland’s Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research centre (AMBER), funded by the Science Foundation Ireland-funded and headquartered at Trinity College, Dublin, has announced the establishment of a new Additive Manufacturing research laboratory. The AR-Lab (Additive Research Laboratory) was founded with a €4.3 million investment from Science Foundation Ireland and the European Research Council, as well as strategic funding from Trinity College.
According to AMBER, the AR-Lab will focus on research into new materials and Additive Manufacturing methods and extend the capabilities of AM to enable the development of new medical, electronic, mechanical, optical, acoustic, heat transfer and sensing devices. The centre stated that it will collaborate with existing and new industry partners to enable the manufacture of next-generation products from both innovative SMEs and multinationals. AMBER’s AR-Lab features a combination of both Irish and internationally-produced equipment and AM systems.
AMBER is said to have invested in a suite of AM technologies for use at the AR-Lab, spanning the full spectrum of materials including metals, ceramics, polymers and biomaterials. Prof Michael Morris, AMBER Director, explained, “AMBER’s AR-Lab will be a pivotal component of AMBER’s research focused on the fundamental material science challenges associated with 3D printing, e.g. the range and complexity of the materials that can be printed, the size of these features and how a number of material sets can be integrated into a functioning device.”
“We have invested in a customised suite of 3D printing technology which spans the full spectrum of materials from ceramics and metals to polymers and biomaterials,” he continued. “This investment will play a leading role in the emerging 3D printing national research ecosystem. It will enable AMBER to build on our foundation of innovative excellence in materials science and become leaders in this emerging technology which is critical to the manufacturing industries that support the Irish economy.”
Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, added, “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support the establishment of a new Additive Manufacturing laboratory at the AMBER SFI Research Centre through the latest SFI Infrastructure Call. Ireland has built a reputation for cutting-edge science and engineering and now attracts top international talent from across the globe.”
“We are also educating the next generation of innovators here,” he continued. “However, this knowledge base must be underpinned by state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Such infrastructure, provided by Science Foundation Ireland, provides the scientific community with the platforms they require for continued progress and achievement.”