Unlocking Innovation: Adoption of 3D Printing Collaboration for North-West SMEs

Calling all North West SMEs! '3D Printers on the Road' project is here to revolutionise innovation processes of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the North West region.

3D Printer on Oxford Road

Academics from the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR) based at AMBS, in partnership with colleagues from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manchester, presents the "3D Printers on the Road" project. This project aims to explore how the adoption of 3D printers can revolutionize the innovation processes of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the North West region.

This Adoption of 3D printing by SMEs in the North-West is multidisciplinary project funded by the University of Manchester, which is focused on deepening our understanding of how SMEs in the North West can benefit from integrating 3D printing technology. 

The project has two key objectives:

  1.  To compare the motivations, barriers, changes in organizational structure, and the scientific knowledge and skills required for firms that have integrated 3D printers into their manufacturing processes.
  2. To conduct a feasibility study to analyse how adopting 3D printers can transform business models, increase competitiveness, and impact innovation and production processes in these firms. The project is particularly interested in collaborating with manufacturing companies in the health sector.

What We Offer

For companies interested in participating in this project, we provide access to a 3D printer for approximately three weeks, available in your own facility from November through February. Additionally, one of our expert engineers will work closely with your team to help you learn to operate the technology, understand design requirements, choose the right materials and evaluate the quality of the final products. At the end of our collaboration, we will provide a comprehensive report on the technology, along with practical managerial recommendations for its adoption.

What We Need

To make this project successful, we require the firm's commitment to participate actively. This entails engaging one of your employees for 2-3 days, tailored to your daily activities. We also request some time from key decision-makers, such as the CEO or product innovation leaders, who can spare a couple of hours for an interview regarding the motivations, barriers, and skills associated with the adoption of 3D printers.

Next Steps and Call to Action

If your company is eager to be a part of this journey and seize the opportunities presented by 3D printing, we invite you to get in tough. To express your interest and participation, please email msbarrioluengo@manchester.ac.uk, including your company name, sector, and a brief description of your current knowledge and expertise in 3D printing. Additionally, let us know why you are interested in adopting this technology.

We look forward to embarking on this journey with your company and collectively exploring the exciting possibilities of 3D printing technology.