The University of Sydney has opened a new AUS$25 million facility focused on additive manufacturing (AM) and materials processing research and development (R&D).

The Sydney Manufacturing Hub will carry out pre and post-processing of materials for faculty, students, small and medium-sized companies, and, if needed, larger companies as well.

It reportedly covers design, topological optimization, metal 3D printing, ceramics and polymers, as well as post-processing heat treatment and characterisation for industries such as aerospace, autonomous vehicles, biomedical, defence, maritime, and robotics.

"The concept of modern and additive manufacturing, rather than deductive manufacturing, is completely changing the opportunities that are available to Australians," said Stuart Ayres, Australian Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism.

"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," said Professor Simon Ringer, director of the university’s core research facilities. “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."

GE Additive entered into a strategic five-year agreement with the University in 2020 to advance Australia’s manufacturing capability. The University of Sydney and GE Additive are collaborating on R&D topics around materials, with experimental work performed at the new facility, the university said.