Traditional manufacturing is thought to be in decline throughout the developed world…but additive manufacturing may just be the lynchpin for local industry.

Re-energising The Illawarra Through Additive Manufacturing examines how to harness the potential of additive manufacturing and help the region transform what, and how things are made.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers drawing expertise from social sciences, business, and additive manufacturing explores regions that share similarities with the Illawarra –Lancaster in the United Kingdom and Ohio in the United States – to see what can be learned from embracing additive manufacturing.

Dr Tillman Böhme says “It is encouraging to see that local universities play an active ‘hands on’ role in supporting regional industrial transformation. Researchers and students work and study in close collaboration with industry partners to transfer latest additive manufacturing knowledge.”

The team aims to identify realistic and sustainable ways to tap into the skills of the existing workforce, create new supply chains, and harness the University’s knowledge base and relationship with industry to help regional transformation through additive manufacturing. Researcher Chantel Carr says the negative conversation surrounding the decline in traditional manufacturing fails to capture the incredible skills and ingenuity of workers in these industries; they are much more adaptable than they are given credit for and very open to working with new technologies.

While there is no easy solution to arresting the decline, providing new avenues for innovation and employment by embracing emerging technologies can have a major impact on manufacturing-focused regions.

Hear how additive manufacturing is helping to transform local industry.  



Download the case study or visit Global Challenges.


    International collaboration
    In partnership with Lancaster University
    Produced 6 publications
    Project team of 7 researchers including 2 PhD students
    Human Geography
    Supply-chain Management
    Additive Manufacturing
    Wollongong, Australia
    Ohio, USA
    Lancaster, UK
    Berlin, Germany