04 Mar 2024

The MTC unlocks innovation potential with Meltio 3D Printer

MTC 3D printer investment

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) has opened up new research and development potential for UK-based am by investing in a Meltio 3D Printer.

Featuring laser direct energy deposition (DED) technology, the Meltio 3D Printer can process both wire and powder and allows quick changeover of materials, enabling the development of parts printed with two or more materials.

Combined with the MTC’s deep end-to-end knowledge and expertise in additive manufacturing (AM) and material science, the organisation’s new acquisition will enable innovative remanufacture and repair processes, in a variety of materials, for a range of industries.

While printing with powder can only be done in specialised industrial environments, the additional ability to process wire means the machine could be adopted outside of dedicated manufacturing facilities. This could revolutionise repair processes, with the small and mobile Meltio printer used to build spare parts, fix breakages, or repair wear in-situ – for example, printing over cracks in engines or creating crucial components which allow ships to get home.

Ross Trepleton, Associate Director, Component Manufacturing at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, commented: “There is a lack of support in the UK for the adoption and validation of parts produced with new AM technologies like DED, despite a good level of demand from industry seeking to rapidly develop products and speed up their route to market.”

He added: “This acquisition combined with our unique experience in design for AM, process optimisation, quality control, materials science, as well as our industry partnerships, will enable us to fill this gap and deliver complex projects utilising the benefits of DED. In turn, companies who work with us can significantly reduce the risk associated with the adoption of new technologies by prototyping and validating products before investing in costly capital equipment.”