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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MECH3775 Additive Manufacturing

20 creditsClass Size: 350

Module manager: Professor Robert Kay

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25


MECH2636Design and Manufacture 2

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will introduce and develop the concepts of Additive Manufacturing (AM) and demonstrate the different AM techniques commercially available. It will also cover the latest developments in this rapidly evolving field including elements of research led teaching. This course will teach the various processes in relation to the seven joint ISO/TC 261 ASTM F42 standards in order to easily categorise the different processes and overcome issues with the technology classifications. The module will emphasise the strengths and weaknesses of the various technologies and highlight applications and case studies from the AM industry. The course will cover AM for use in production development, rapid tooling and Reverse Engineering (RE) with case examples from a range of industrial sectors including automotive, medical and electronics. The module will encompass various interactive lectures, hands on tutorials using 3D printing equipment and demonstrations using the various Additive Manufacturing equipment available at the University of Leeds.


On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Describe in detail a range of Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes and their advantages and disadvantages;
2. Identify suitable Additive Manufacturing process (or processes) for an application / product based on specified production requirements;
3. Describe the complex design techniques specific to Reverse Engineering (RE) and AM;
4. Illustrate a comprehensive understanding of the current practice of AM and RE, their limitations and likely new developments;
5. Have a good appreciation of the industrial application of Additive Manufacturing for a range of different fields;
6. Demonstrate product development in a practical sense by combining 3D CAD design, data manipulation and Additive Manufacturing.
7. Demonstrate RE in a practical sense by enhancing / altering an existing product through using 3D scanning, data manipulation and Additive Manufacturing.

Learning outcomes
1. Knowledge and Understanding.
On completion of this module students should be able to explain and illustrate:
- The principles behind various Additive Manufacturing processes as per the joint ASTM F42-ISO/TC 261 standards including:
- Fundamentals. of the processes and platforms.
- Common areas of application.
- Process capabilities and limitations.
- Data file formats including file manipulation.
- The concept of AM for product development.
- The concept of Rapid Tooling, its applications and limitations.
- The concept of RE as applied to AM with an understanding of the various different scanning / imaging methods.
- Express a basic knowledge of the scientific principles behind RE and AM.
- Explain the complex design techniques specific to RE and AM.
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the current practice of AM and RE, their limitations and likely new developments.
- Have a good appreciation of the industrial application of Additive Manufacturing for a range of different fields.
- Understand the economics of AM and be able to compare this with traditional tooling based production methods.
2. Skills and Attributes:
(i) Intellectual
- At the end of this module students should be able to:
- Understand the underlying processes of AM as per the ISO/TC 261 process categories, their limitations and areas of application.
- Analyse the principles of the various AM technologies and their influence on product development.
- Identify and critically discuss a range of rapid tooling and manufacturing techniques, identify the most appropriate for certain applications.
- Select and analyse the appropriate computer based solution for Reverse Engineering applications and recognise the limitations of the chosen methods.
- Integrate relevant data from case studies to produce solutions to RE and AM problems.
(ii) Practical
At the end of this module students should be able to:
- Generate, analyse, edit, and output data files formats to the various AM techniques exposed to.
- Demonstrate the generation of parts, from source data (CAD) to final component.
- Determine what process was used to produce a selection of various additively manufactured parts.
- Select appropriate RE and AM equipment, review data and make conclusions, taking into account the added complexities of this technology.
- Evaluate complex designs for AM in comparison to conventional design for manufacture and report on the results.
- Apply RE and AM techniques taking account of commercial and industrial constraints.
(iii) Transferable
At the end of this module students should be able to:
- Understand how AM can be used in different manufacturing industries.
- Able to identify the most suitable AM process to manufacture a part based on the build requirements.
- Ability to know when it is most appropriate to use AM versus conventional manufacturing processes for building a specific part or batch of parts.

Upon successful completion of this module the following UK-SPEC learning outcome descriptors are satisfied: SM1m, SM3m, SM4m, SM5m, SM6m, D2, D3m, D4, D5, D6, D7m, D8m, EL2, EL5m, EL6, P1, P2m, P3, P4, P5, P10m, P11m and G1.

Skills outcomes
Students will have had the opportunity to develop the following skills through this module:-
- Interactive hands on learning
- Team working to collectively develop a new product produced in conduction with RE and AM
- Self direction and effective decision making;
- Independent learning via self guided research including conducting a literature reviews of the latest developments in AM and RE.
- Application of various engineering methods including design, manufacture and analysis to develop an AM produced product.
- Communication of information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms, whilst demonstrating understanding of levels of ambiguity and uncertainty.


Semester 1 will focus on learning the principles of AM as per the joint ISO/TC 261-ASTM F42 standards and also the procedures and methods around design and build set-up considerations. In semester 2 the understanding around AM will be further developed with a particular emphasis on: RE for AM, data scanning techniques & applications areas; Design for RE and AM; RE and AM in medical engineering; Rapid tooling; Economics of AM (Costing and Business models); and AM research.

Interactive labs will support the taught curriculum over both semesters and allow the students to experience the full process from design to the production of a part. Initially students will learn how to create their own design concepts, manipulate the file format, choose print parameters and 3D print a component. Students will then start a group project (4-6 students) where a portable electronic device is reverse engineered, redesigned / enhanced and then additively manufactured. This group project will require the students to put all their design, manufacturing and also general engineering skills together to successfully complete this project. The labs will be split over several weeks consisting of: product assessment, design considerations, reverse engineering, 3D, manufacturing, post-processing and demonstrating the working new product. The curriculum will also be supported with tutorials that aim to test the application of the knowledge.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours50.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Individual study of module material: 50 hours
coursework: 100 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Feedback given to students in response to assessed work:
- General feedback discussed as part of a tutorial
- Individual feedback on practical lab work.
- Developmental feedback generated through teaching activities:
- Laboratory interaction with tutors / academics including online practicals.
- Practical knowledge of commercial AM equipment for application in Industry.
- Students undergo process demonstrations, part handling and set up parts for manufacture.
- Students use tutorial based software training using industry leading software and have parts produced on table-top 3D printers.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentClass test20.00
Group ProjectPoster Presentation20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Any student who fails the module will sit a resit exam during the August resit examination period. Students must satisfy certain threshold conditions of competence in order to be awarded the credits for this module. These additional competences relate to UK-SPEC Engineering Council learning outcomes required for accreditation that are uniquely assessed in this module, specifically; EL5m, EL6m, P5, P10m and D2.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:16:42


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