Welsh firm to benefit from £1 million grant to pioneer 3D printing

Iterate Design & innovation, a product design consultancy based in Chepstow, has received a grant from Innovate UK to develop 3D printing technology.

The company is working on a collaborative research project with the University of Warwick, Printed Electronics Ltd and C Enterprise to accelerate 3D printing technology development.

They’ll focus on combining the deposition of polymer-based materials with electrically conductive inks, which will potentially replace the need for wires to be used in electro-mechanical product assemblies.

The project will last for 18 months and will see the design team at Iterate work with a range of product manufacturers and end users to explore the benefits of 3D printing technologies.

It’ll support companies that develop products incorporating plastics and electronics. This form of printing can reduce weight, complexity, cost and time-to-market.

Gethin Roberts, managing director at ITERATE, said: “There are no machines on the market that accurately and reliably combine these two dissimilar materials to create production-grade results.

“Current 3D print technology is based on a Cartesian co-ordinate system (X,Y,Z), depositing one layer of material on top of another in a single plane to create a 3D object.

“This method has inherent limitations that affect surface finish, geometric tolerance and robustness. This project will overcome these challenges so that industry can cost effectively develop new products across an exciting array of market sectors – spanning military to healthcare.”

Image credit: PRO Riley Porter