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The answers to your 3D printing questions

16 December 2014

The additive manufacturing division of Renishaw has collaborated with the Manchester Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) on a free exhibition that will debunk myths about 3D printing. The exhibition celebrates this exciting new technology and explores how it is being used in applied fields, including medicine, manufacturing and aerospace.

Over 500 objects made using 3D printing can be seen at the MOSI exhibition, including the world's first bike with a 3D printed metal frame

The exhibition called 3D: Printing the Future is now open to the public until April 19, 2015. Over 500 objects made using the technique can be seen at the exhibition, including the world's first bike with a 3D printed metal frame that Renishaw manufactured in collaboration with Empire Cycles.

The MOSI exhibition aims to educate the general public about 3D printing, a process also known in industry as additive manufacturing. The technology can be difficult to grasp for the uninitiated, but by exposing the general public to the actual 3D printing process, MOSI and its collaborators hope to make it easier to understand. Throughout the exhibition, visitors can observe a plastic 3D printer in action.

As the UK's only manufacturer of metal-based additive manufacturing machines, Renishaw provided several bespoke parts for this exhibition, including the central piece – a bike with a metal 3D printed frame. To demonstrate the versatility of 3D printing, Renishaw helped produce topologically optimised bottle openers, an exhaust manifold, a knee replacement, a dental bridge, a skull with maxillofacial implants and other complex structures.

“In 2013, Renishaw sponsored a sister exhibition organised by the Science Museum in London,” explained Lucy Grainger, product marketing engineer at Renishaw's additive manufacturing division. “Exhibitions are a great way of raising awareness about new technologies. They allow us to explain realistic applications of 3D printing and what it can do for manufacturing, industry, medicine and consumers alike.”

“3D printing is revolutionising the fields of medicine and engineering,” commented the exhibition's curator, Sarah Baines. “We wanted to celebrate the technology and inspire the next generation of engineers - not just in London, but also in other areas of the UK. We're keen to explain to visitors of all ages how 3D printing has democratised design, encouraged innovation and what kind of opportunities it holds for the future.”

To find out more about the exhibition, visit the MOSI website on www.mosi.org.uk or simply drop by and prepare to be amazed.

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