Advanced Manufacturing research at UNSW is the development and use of innovative technologies for the fabrication of products. Without advancements in manufacturing, we could never hope to increase efficiency or improve the sustainability of manufacturing process we take for granted.

Our researchers work across the following areas:

Our work on additive manufacturing started with rapid prototyping and tooling in the 1990s, to understand and characterize the layer-by-layer manufacturing processes using various materials including metals and alloys, polymers and composites materials. Our aim is to enhance the process performance and develop new additive manufacturing technologies to meet the need of end-users from various key industries including aerospace, healthcare, automotive, energy and defence, etc.

Additive manufacturing/3D printing

We develop new technologies for meso/micro scale machining and nano-surfacing using abrasive waterjet, abrasive airjet and ice-jet. Our work includes the use of experimental and computational (CFD, FEM and DEM simulation) approaches to characterise the jet flow dynamics, understand the impact mechanics by ultrahigh velocity micro-particles, the material response to the impacts and the associated impact erosion, develop new abrasive jet technologies, as well as characterise and optimize the machining processes.

Multi-scale abrasive jet machining

Our work in this area includes the use of short/ultrashort pulsed lasers and the development of a hybrid laser-waterjet technology for damage-free ablation of materials at micro/nano scales, micro-forming of engineering components, and surface modification to improve the optical, mechanical and tribological performance, as well as for bio-manufacturing. Experimental, theoretical and computational (FEM, FDM and MD simulation) approaches are used in our research.

Advanced laser and laser-assisted fabrication technologies

Our work includes precision and ultra-precision machining at meso, micro and nano-scales both in quality and dimension, as well as nano-surfacing of difficult-to-machine materials using mechanical approaches and a combination of laser and mechanical tools. Our focus is on machining mechanics, tool wear and tool-life, chip flow and control, machining system dynamics, machining performance modelling, process optimization, and condition monitoring of cutting tools and machining processes.

Our research includes the design, analysis and manufacturing of high performance cutting tools (drills and milling cutters) for the machining of engineering materials and for medical applications, and micro-cutting tools to improve the machining performance. We also develop advanced and nano-ceramic materials for cutting tool applications.

We conduct research to understand and improve the impact erosion process by ultrahigh velocity micro-particles relevant to abrasive jet machining, study and manufacture surface textures to improve the tribological performance, and study the tribological aspects in mechanical nano-machining.

We conduct research into developing advance manufacturing processes and automation to improve the process performance of light-weight structures.

Manufacturing process development and automation

List of participating researchers