Rapid Manufacturing

Description:

High Speed Sintering

High Speed Sintering (HSS) is a new Additive Manufacturing (AM) process invented at and patented by Loughborough University.

The process utilises inkjet print heads and infra-red heating technology to manufacture parts layer by layer from polymer powder materials.

Since the inception of HSS in 2003, led by Professor Neil Hopkinson, numerous technology advances have been made and widely publicised. In 2009, the process was internationally recognised with a breakthrough technology award from the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Many projects have been completed to critical acclaim with industrial partners in the construction, automotive and sporting goods sectors.

 

Find out more about the manufacturing process

 

Benefits

High Speed Sintering overcomes a number of manufacturing challenges

•       Injection moulding – expensive tooling with limited geometries

•       CNC machining – limited geometries, difficulty in machining polymers means metal                                                                                                                                      parts are frequently selected

 

High Speed Sintering requires no tooling to make parts

•       Parts are manufactured layer by layer in a manner that is similar to many processes collectively known as Additive Manufacturing processes.

 

High Speed Sintering is suitable for higher volume production

•       Today’s Additive Manufacturing processes are generally developed and used for the creation of prototypes or very small series production runs, whilst Loughborough’s novel manufacturing process has been specifically developed for higher volume production.

 

Commercialisation

High Speed Sintering was invented with the intention to replace existing technologies and to provide manufacturing capabilities that have been unavailable to date.

In particular the technology has been developed to make parts that are comparable with those made by Selective Laser Sintering but at a much lower cost and faster rate.

Reducing the cost of parts make the process competitive with CNC machining and low to medium volume injection moulding.

 

Patent status

The High Speed Sintering technology is currently protected by a family of patents including granted European, Japanese and US patents as well as pending published and unpublished patents.

We also hold Intellectual Property in the form of proprietary Knowledge and Knowhow regarding many aspects of the process such as hardware, software and materials.

 

Commercial strategy

Using an initial prototype machine we have made parts that clearly show that the process will compete with, and in many instances replace, Selective Laser Sintering, CNC machining and injection moulding.

Based on the parts we have made, an external market analysis and our assessment of the commercial potential in the broader manufacturing market, we believe there is strong potential for High Speed Sintering in the Additive Manufacturing market.

Consequently, we have received considerable interest in the High Speed Sintering from organisations with an interest in commercialising the process.

Loughborough University is in discussions with potential partners to create a market ready product.  It is looking for the right partner that can best invest in the commercial, technical and marketing aspects of this exciting business opportunity. We are interested in discussing this opportunity with suitable industrial partners and collaborators to create a market ready product to launch machines in the prototyping, additive manufacturing and 3D printing markets.

 

What's new

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Roshna Mistry
IP Exploitation Executive
Loughborough University
r.mistry3@lboro.ac.uk
Inventors:
Neil Hopkinson
Poonjolai Erasenthiran
Helen Thomas
Keywords:
3D Computer Aided Design
Additive Manufacturing
Design Management
Innovative Technologies
Manufacturing
Printing
Process Improvement
Technology
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