Hybrid Manufacturing is an emerging area of advanced manufacturing. It comprises of digitally-driven and template-less manufacturing processes which are based on integrated cross-technology platforms and/or multi-system cells. The most significant developments in the area to date have been largely based on near-net shape manufacturing and finishing, through twin combinations of additive/subtractive systems. These dual process based systems are demonstrating the ability to increase efficiency (production time and material usage) and obtain high geometrical accuracy and surface finish.
Our group focuses on how truly transformative capability may be realised by the next generations of this ideology. Our research is founded on the premise that future generations of products, embodying multi-faceted complexity and transformative capability, cannot be realised by a singular manufacturing process base and that multimodal approaches and processes hold the key to disruptive innovation. Examples of such additional capability includes:
- Multi-materials and Compositional complexity
- Localised surface engineering
- Selective chemical functionalization
- Spatial material variation
- Embedded devices and systems in 3D
- Engineering across scales
- Closed-loop control
We explore this through the alliance of multiple process technologies (often 3+) within a singular platform, whilst drawing from emergent research from wider engineering and the physical sciences.