The Sydney Manufacturing Hub, located in the engineering precinct of the University of Sydney’s Darlington, Australia, campus has been inaugurated. The Hub is a new manufacturing-focused research facility that will work alongside the growing Australian Additive Manufacturing industry to deliver research & development in AM and materials processing.
The Hub provides capabilities for design, topological optimisation; metal, ceramic and polymer AM, and post-processing in anticipation of paving the way for new technologies in the aerospace, autonomous vehicle, biomedical, defence, maritime, and robotics industries. The facility is geared to enable concept-to-production demonstration capabilities, including advanced pre- and post-processing of materials.
“The Sydney Manufacturing Hub, situated in Darlington at the very heart of ‘Tech Central’, is a key demonstrator for what’s ultimately possible when government, industry and higher education work together on high-impact technologies,” stated Prof Mark Scott AO, University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor. “This is evidenced not only through the establishment of this new research facility, but also via our collaborative projects in Greater Sydney, particularly the Western Sydney Parklands and Aerotropolis.”
Professor Simon Ringer, Director of the University of Sydney’s Core Research Facilities, added, “Advanced manufacturing is making the previously impossible possible. Key industries will benefit from these technologies through the reduction of material waste, simplified supply chains, and an independent capacity to create materials, components and even whole machines – all of which weren’t possible using traditional manufacturing.”
“Using these technologies, we could soon see Australian-designed and built space rocket engines, hypersonic vehicles, satellites, eco-active building and construction, and fast-tracking of the electrification revolution in propulsion. It will even be transformative for areas like health – our team have recently leveraged Additive Manufacturing in the production of custom orthopaedic implants to help with patient-specific needs.”
“We are witnessing a dramatic disruption in how materials are made that’s driving research breakthroughs,” Prof Ringer continued. “On one hand, we are looking at the periodic table with fresh eyes – Additive Manufacturing lets us combine elements to make new materials with entirely new combinations of properties at scale. On the other hand, additive and advanced manufacturing has made manufacturing more accessible, with digital workflows making it easier for local companies to enter competitive global markets.”
The Hub will also provide specialised consulting, fabrication activation and training to industrial partners, providing both guided and autonomous access to the facilities for the purposes of testing, research and fabrication.
One such partner is GE Additive, which entered into a strategic five-year agreement with the University in 2020 to advance Australia’s manufacturing capability via collaborations on the R&D of materials. As well as hosting experimental R&D work for this collaboration, the facility will also serve as a technology demonstration centre for GE Additive across Australia and New Zealand and host workshops, training and collaboration sessions for the industry.
“The Sydney Manufacturing Hub is now open for business and ready to engage with industry across NSW, particularly SMEs where there is significant opportunity for new high-skilled jobs,” stated Sam Maresh, GE Australia Country Leader. “This facility will support the collaboration of industry and researchers and is set to become a commercialisation hub for new products and innovations across a range of advanced manufacturing industries. NSW is positioning itself at the centre of additive manufacturing capability and research within the Asia-Pacific region, and the Sydney Manufacturing Hub is a significant step towards achieving that ambition.”
Maresh concluded, “We are delighted to partner with the University on this project and can see the value of the new facility as an industrial incubator, underpinning rapid advances in manufacturing and developing world-leading skills for Australian SMEs.”