A 3D printed A320 nacelle hinge demonstrator in the front and a conventional nacelle hinge in the background

Funding for UK 3D printing centre

A UK national centre for 3D printing technology will be established with the UK government investing about £15m to boost the developing field.

The funding is part of a £60m package to be announced today by George Osborne that aims to foster innovation and technology development.

The new 3D printing centre, expected to open by 2015, will be located next to the existing Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry and will focus on developing advanced 3D printing capabilities for the aerospace technology. It will focus on 3D printing extremely durable metallic components for spacecraft and aircraft, while also supporting medical and automotive industry. 

"Our long-term economic plan is working and the economy is growing. But there is still work to do, which is why we are working with industry to drive innovation and lead the global race in technology, engineering and manufacturing,” Osborne is expected to say during a visit in Coventry today.

"We are already the best in Europe for aerospace and I want to do even better. Up to 27,000 new planes are needed between now and 2030, worth billions of pounds to the UK economy in contracts. That is why I am announcing today that, together with industry, we will invest around £60m in a dedicated facility for aerospace manufacturing as part of £2bn of support for this growing sector."

The development of the new centre for additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, is part of the UK’s ongoing effort to grow its aerospace and space industry.

"Britain has a world-beating aerospace industry, second only to the United States. But to keep it that way we must continue to invest in the latest cutting-edge technology,” said Business Secretary Vince Cable. “These new facilities, funded from the £2bn committed by government and industry for aerospace research and development, will help us maintain our competitive edge in the sector.”

An additional £15m will be invested towards further development of the existing Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, where a new aerospace technology centre will be established. 

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