The Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory covers teaching, research and consulting in various manufacturing processes. This includes advanced laser and laser-hybrid processing of materials, high pressure water jet and air jet processing of materials, mechanical machining, additive manufacturing, and friction and wear.  

Abrasive jet research 

Processing and associated equipment 

  • Flow abrasive waterjet machine (415 MPa, 6 DoF robot controlled cutting head) 
  • Lower pressure waterjet machine (8 MPa) 
  • Lower pressure waterjet machine (68 MPa) 
  • Abrasive air jet machine 
  • Roland MDX-40 Micro milling machine 

Research activities and interests

  • Modelling of the jet characteristics and machining performance of abrasive jets 
  • Development of new cutting techniques to enhance the cutting performance of abrasive waterjets 
  • 3-D cutting of difficult-to-cut materials 
  • Abrasive waterjet turning 
  • Clearing and stain removal by waterjet and ice-jet in product reuse and recycling 
  • Development of abrasive waterjet micro-machining technology 
  • Micro-machining (cutting, drilling/piercing, etching and polishing) with micro-abrasive waterjet 
  • Micro-machining with micro-abrasive air-jet 
  • Mechanisms and models of loose particle erosion 
  • Mechanisms of super-finish surface formation in abrasive jet polishing 
  • Development of cryogenic ice-jet processing technology 


Additive manufacturing/3D printing research 

Processing & associated equipment

  • SLM Solutions 125 HL Metal Additive Manufacturing Machine 
  • GE Concept Laser Mlab 200R Metal Additive Manufacturing Machine 
  • High Temperature FDM Polymer Printer (e.g., PEEK printing) 
  • High Temperature Vacuum Furnace 
  • Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIPPing) 

Research activities and interests 

  • Development of various materials for additive manufacturing; 
  • Design and simulation for additive manufacturing, e.g. final parts production with improved functional part characteristics; 
  • Processing-microstructure-property relationship in additive manufacturing; 
  • Hybrid additive manufacturing; 
  • Advanced materials and structures; 
  • Qualification and certification for additive manufacturing 


  • Location: Lab 110, Willis Annexe 
  • Laboratory Officer-in-Charge: Mr Ben Willis 
  • Academic-in-Charge and Research Staff: Dr Xiaopeng Li

Laser machining research 

Processing equipment 

  • Femtosecond laser machine for nano/micro-scale material ablation 
  • Nano-second laser machine 
  • Hybrid waterjet-laser “cold” micromachining facility 

Research activities and interests 

The research being carried out in the laboratory involves both theoretical and experimental investigations to understand the phenomena associated with laser processing of materials. Our focus is to develop new technologies and process control strategies for micro-machining with minimum damages to the components by the process. Major areas of current research include: 

  • Toward damage-free fabrication of micro-structures 
  • Damage-free processing of advanced and bio-materials 
  • Micro/nano-ablation of materials using femtosecond/picosecond lasers 
  • Laser micro-machining and surfacing for advanced cutting tool manufacturing 
  • Surface texturing to improve the mechanical, physical and tribological properties