The Duke of York speaks about additive manufacturing to Simon Scott (right) and Chris Sutcliffe.
HRH the Duke of York had his eye caught by a Renishaw additive manufacturing system on a recent visit to the University of Liverpool.
Prince Andrew's visit to the facility was part of his trip in support of the International Festival of Business. He was shown two metal 3D printing machines supplied by Renishaw to the University's School of Engineering, where he engaged in discussions concerning the maturing technology's various applications.
The Duke also met innovators and users of additive manufacturing, including Dr Chris Sutcliffe of the University's School of Engineering and Renishaw's Additive Manufacturing Products Division Director and General Manager Simon Scott, who said he was impressed by the Duke's knowledge of 3D printing.
"He asked many thoughtful questions regarding the technology, particularly concerning its use in applications with tighter regulatory environments such as the aerospace and medical industries," said Scott. "His Royal Highness also expressed concern at the slow pace of uptake of the technology by industry, identifying that a lack of training and technology transfer might be to blame for this situation."
The Prince also spoke to a number of PhD students from the University of Liverpool. Renishaw-sponsored research student Ian Ashton was among those greeted by the royal. The student, who is investigating the process control of additive manufacturing systems, said he was happy to see how interested the Duke of York was in 3D printing, describing the encounter as "a pleasure".
This is not the Duke's first encounter with 3D technology. Last year, Prince Andrew's tour of Elstree Film and Television Studios led to the curious royal being 3D-scanned using an Artec Eva system.
Renishaw has installed two additive manufacturing systems at the University of Liverpool School of Engineering as part of ongoing research collaborations between the two entities. The machines utilise laser melting technologies capable of producing fully dense metal parts direct from CAD files. The parts are built from alloys including those of titanium and aluminium, melting 20 to 100 µm-thick layers one at a time to form the final part.