Manchester Metropolitan unveils £6m 3D printing hub

Manchester Metropolitan
University
and Tatton Estate
Management
have revealed plans for a £6
million, 40,000 sq ft 3D printing facility in Cheshire’s
Yarwood Heath Farm site.  

An agreement to jointly develop the Cheshire 3D Print
Hub, C3D, will be signed by both parties on Thursday, March
15.

C3D will be located on the Yarwood Heath Farm site, near Manchester Airport, between Altrincham and Knutsford. Image via Tatton Group.C3D will be located on
the Yarwood Heath Farm site, near Manchester Airport, between
Altrincham and Knutsford. Image via Tatton Group.

MMU’s expanding 3D Printing ambitions

The hub forms an extension of MMU’s existing
central
Manchester 3D PrintCity facilities
and will
accommodate the region’s developing industrial digital
technologies market. Prof. Craig Bank, chair in Electrochemical
and Nanotechnology at MMU, says that the university will
achieve this by supporting SMEs through postgraduate research
projects and academic expertise, which could “take ideas from
concept through to commercialisation”. Tatton Estate has
allocated other parts of the Yarwood Heath Farm site to science
and technology businesses.

Peter Gough, a lecture at MMU using the existing PrintCity facilities. Image via MMU.Peter Gough, a lecture
at MMU using the existing PrintCity facilities. Image via MMU.

C3D joins other facilities in the Cheshire Science
Corridor, an enterprise zone designed to attract jobs and
businesses to the area, including
Capenhurst
Technology Park
,
Thornton Science Park
and the
Alderley
Park bioscience campus
.

3D printing in Manchester is also well represented. Projects
include a 3D printing lab at North
Manchester General Hospital
 (NMGH) – that brings the technology in-house and is
likely to
save some of the £120,000 ($166,000) spent annually
on
outsourced 3D printing.

BiOspace, the area’s
first
open access laboratory
and research into
bio-printing at the University of Manchester
are other
areas where Manchester is applying 3D printing.

Looking forward

For the Bank, the long term goal project is “to create an
open and inclusive science and technology hub. It will enhance
our research and innovation infrastructure and capacities to
develop excellence and promote business investment, including
for SMEs”. Henry Brooks, Tatton Group’s managing director said
“C3D will help contribute to the global imperative for the UK
and the North West to increase manufacturing, to create wealth,
jobs and social cohesion”.

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