Additive Manufacturing

Field of Research: Resource Efficiency Engineering Management

Lecturer: Prof Andre van der Merwe

We focus on resource efficiency in the supply chains of medical and aerospace products produced by Additive Manufacturing (AM). AM is an emerging technology with many challenges in its Technology- and Commercial Readiness.
Our research group aims to improve South Africa’s competitiveness in the global market with respect to mass customised medical and aerospace devices. The initial focus is on medical devices. Medical training models are used for basic education through to advanced levels, but currently real animals are sacrificed in dissection training to replace human specimens. We aim to replace real animals with polymer specimens.

Our collaboration with NSPCA commits our resources to animal welfare. Several requirements in the medical field are address by using mass customised manufacturing for dissection models, pre-operative models, prostheses, implants, and orthotics. Ongoing collaboration with Centre of Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM) in Bloemfontein has proven success especially in the Maxillo facial treatment of cancer patients.

Your Masters or PhD in Engineering Management will focus on using systems engineering to develop the supply chain for medical devices. You will apply value chains on each product’s life cycle to determine risk in terms of quality, cost, time, and flexibility. Your focus will be on commercial readiness.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is fundamentally flexible and lends itself to mass-customisation. Our focus is to commercialise mass-customisation using AM.

Research Group Members

André van der Merwe
Associate Professor