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MEng Mechanical Engineering with Industrial Experience

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Additive Manufacturing & 3D Product Modelling

Unit code MACE40362
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Division (L5)
Available as a free choice unit? No


CAD modelling of parts is an essential requirement for any engineering activity. This module aims to describe the theory behind solid and surface modelling, the various transformations including 3D viewing, and the procedures involved in creating a CAD model of a part from scanned cloud points. 

The second part of the module details the main additive manufacturing techniques from hardware and software viewpoints; different materials and material change transformation during the fabrication process are discussed, including applications in various sectors such as aerospace and automotive.

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates


To provide a comprehensive understanding of the principles involved in creating CAD models of complex objects and gain a thorough understanding of the main additive manufacturing techniques for mass customisation and mass personalisation. 


(i)             Geometric Transformations and Viewing. Translation, rotation, scaling, reflection, shear; homogenous co-ordinates; rotation about an arbitrary axis; composite transformations. Three-dimensional viewing; parallel (axonometric, oblique and orthographic) and perspective viewing transformations.

(ii)           Surface Modelling. Parametric representation of Hermite, Bezier and B-spline curvescurves; mathematical representation of Bezier  and B-spline surfaces.

(iii)          Solid Modelling. Different types of models-constructive solid geometry, cell decomposition and boundary models .including polygon-, vertex and edge-based models, Boolean and sweep operations; data structures for boundary models. Theory of Boolean operations.

(iv)         Reverse engineering: Survey of different commercially-available scanners - non-contact and contact devices; registration; triangulation; segmentation; surface fitting and solid model creation.

(v)          Introduction to additive manufacturing: International industrial context; Product development; Mass customization and mass personalization; Definitions; Process Classification; Advantages of additive manufacturing; market overview; Historical overview – from rapid prototyping to rapid manufacturing and biomanufacturing; AM information flow: CAD, conversion to STL, Slicing.

(vi)         Extrusion processes: Process overview; materials process; parameters; commercial available systems; Non-commercial/under development systems; applications.

(vii)        Ink-jet based processes: Material jetting versus binder jetting processes; technical challenges: droplet formation, continuous mode, drop-on-demand; Materials and modification methods; commercial available systems; Non-commercial/under development systems; applications.

(viii)       Vat photopolymerization: Process overview; UV curable polymers; overview of photopolymer chemistry; laser-polymer interaction; direct irradiation versus mask irradiation; two photon-polymerization systems; commercially available systems; non-commercial systems/systems under development; applications.

(ix)         Fusion processes: Powder bed fusion processes versus direct energy deposition; materials; powder fusion mechanisms; process parameters; new developments – hybrid systems; commercially available systems; applications.

The module contains one project which is done in groups of two; each group develops code in MATLAB to reverse engineer a whisky glass; the glass designed by each group is then fabricated using an appropriate additive manufacturing technique. The aims of the project are:

(i) for students to gain a thorough understanding of the different stages involved in reverse engineering;

(ii) be able to appreciate the causes of the differences between the designed and actual glasses, and

(iii) gain first-hand experience in using an additive manufacturing technique.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Report 20%

Feedback methods

Exam - Solutions posterd on Blackboard after examination

Report - Two weeks after submission

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 33
Practical classes & workshops 6
Tutorials 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 108

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Paulo Jorge Da Silva Bartolo Unit coordinator

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