The award recognises how DRAMA has developed physical and digital assets to fuel metal AM adoption across the aerospace sector's entire UK supply chain.

DRAMA, or the Digital Reconfigurable Additive Manufacturing facilities for Aerospace, was first set up in 2017 by the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing at Coventry's Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).

This three-year collaborative research project will help to build a stronger AM supply chain for UK aerospace by developing a digital learning factory.

The group consists of the Centre and seven partners that are original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with existing investments and expertise in AM, including Renishaw, ATS Global, Autodesk, Ansys Granta, Midlands Aerospace Alliance, National Physical Laboratory and University of Birmingham.

“AM has the potential to revolutionise the way aerospace components are manufactured,” explained Bryan Austin, director of AM sales at Renishaw. “A single AM part can significantly reduce the number of components that go into an existing aircraft and strengthen the overall build. This new centre will provide metal powder bed processes and a bespoke digital platform, so companies can speed up manufacturing and optimise their products.

“DRAMA will enable the aerospace sector to gain valuable information on design for additive manufacture and information on physical manufactured parts that will help develop a new generation of aircraft,” concluded Austin.

Renishaw is a world leader in the design and manufacture of additive manufacturing systems and became a member of DRAMA to share its extensive industrial expertise. The company's Additive Manufacturing Solutions Centre, at its New Mills headquarters site in Gloucestershire, provides a secure development environment to build knowledge and confidence when using AM technology.

It has also published an AM guide that educates and informs the wider community on the possibilities of additive manufacturing to increase uptake of the technology in mainstream manufacturing.