3DEC research strength labs

Explore our research strengths to get a glimpse into the disruptive design, digital and engineering solutions our labs are developing.
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Advanced Manufacturing and Simulation Lab

Prof Bernard Rolfe

The Advanced Manufacturing and Simulation Lab leads research into process modelling, material behaviour prediction and industry 4.0. We are known globally for developing cutting-edge sheet forming techniques, tool wear analysis, additive manufacturing and the manufacture of carbon fibre parts.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Simulation Lab aims to optimise manufacturing processes through a better understanding of the process and its associated materials, including developing several sensors and systems to monitor the state of the manufacturing process. Our vision is to develop the production of lighter weight parts using advanced metals, fibrous materials and hybrid materials using the latest cutting-edge manufacturing processes.

Design for Additive Manufacturing Lab

Prof Jennifer Loy

The Design for Additive Manufacturing Lab utilises cutting-edge additive manufacturing and digitally-focused technologies, combined with a design-based engineering philosophy, to provide human-centred solutions to current and future societal challenges. The lab leads research in areas including digital and distributed manufacturing and product design, personalised design for health and ability, and socio-cultural, economic and environmental sustainability. Our goal is to proactively support the revitalisation of personal and community identity in a digital era, using connected technologies to improve economic and physical independence in disenfranchised communities and to empower individuals with affordable health and wellbeing and enhanced technological and economic participation.

Virtual Reality Training and Simulation Research Lab

A/Prof Ben Horan

The CADET Virtual Reality Lab leads cutting-edge research into virtual reality training and simulation and are leaders in advanced Human Computer Interaction (HCI) techniques and technologies for virtual reality. The CADET Virtual Reality Lab has strengths in human interaction with virtual reality, and in developing new techniques and technologies to facilitate better interaction, and have applied these to develop solutions across a range of different domains including health, industrial training, education and

Smart Sensors Lab

Prof Pubudu Pathirana

The Smart Sensors Lab leads research within wireless networking, Internet of Things (IoT) and system theoretic solutions aimed at biomedical applications in real-world settings. The lab focuses primarily on rehabilitation and assistive device design for biomedical applications, with strengths in the Internet of Things (IoT), system theoretic solutions to bio-mechanic motion capture, integrated and embedded system design, robust estimation, and human motion capture, filtering and analytics. The Smart Sensors Lab collaborates with major industry and government research partners, addressing a real need in rehabilitation and assistive devices.

Computational Structures Lab

A/Prof Mahmud Ashraf

The Computational Structures Lab are leaders in developing nonlinear complex numerical models to investigate wide-ranging structural engineering challenges. Our research areas including structural stability and thin-walled structures, composite structures, bio-composite materials (e.g. timber and bamboo) and structures, prefabricated systems and topology optimisation. The lab utilises advanced simulation for reverse engineering, in combination with additive manufacturing, to design efficient components for various structural applications.

Our expertise in topology optimisation has been successfully used to enhance the efficiency of structural components, as well as to reduce weight and material cost, and we can develop advanced numerical models to replicate the complex response of composite and bio-composite materials to capture accurate failure modes under different types of loading. The Computational Structures Lab supports collaborative research, frequently using advanced modelling techniques to enhance the product design process and employing in-house 3D printing facilities to build and test prototypes for further refinement of complex structural components.

Metal Additive Manufacturing Processes Lab

A/Prof Wei Xu

The Metal Additive Manufacturing Processes Lab is aiming to discover, develop and bring to market advanced materials and provide integrated manufacturing solutions to the aerospace, automotive, healthcare, defence and energy industries. Driven by the critical market demand and the urgent need of revitalising Australia's manufacturing sector, our fundamental and applied research focuses on high value-added metal additive manufacturing (AM), novel materials design and synthesis, and lightweight structures.

The Metal Additive Manufacturing Processes Lab utilises state-of-the-art AM technologies and advanced characterisation techniques to lead advances in process and microstructural control, new materials for AM, new AM processes for rapid alloy design and design for AM. Specific research activities include laser AM of titanium alloys and functionally graded titanium matrix composites, design and additive manufacturing of lightweight near-zero thermal expansion materials and structures, and additive manufacturing of superelastic NiTi and high-temperature titanium aluminides.

Smart Materials Lab

Prof David Morton

The Smart Materials Lab brings together world-class expertise in applied particle engineering, powder technology and allied materials and aerosol science. Our research is focused on the application of this expertise into areas of advanced manufacturing, sustainable technologies and the circular economy and we support collaborative research across many areas in aerosol science, materials performance, drug delivery and advanced fibre research.

The Smart Materials Lab hosts extensive pilot scale powder processing facilities, an extensive range of powder and material characterisation facilities and state-of-the-art additive manufacturing (AM) systems. Current research areas focus on the application of particle engineering and computational modelling to enhance the performance and applications of AM, particle engineering applications for advanced materials and powder characterisation research and development. Specific research activities include particle design of pharmaceuticals for AM of next-generation drug delivery, innovative additive manufactured smart photoelastic particles for enhanced process diagnostic understanding, design of novel nano-structured natural fibres for enhanced composite design, and powder compaction (and granular segregation) behaviour to enhance industrial process optimisation.

Infrastructure Futures Lab

Prof Carol Boyle

The Infrastructure Futures Lab is an interdisciplinary collaboration of academics working to understand Infrastructure 4.0 as cyber-human-physical systems and to support infrastructure organisations to successfully undertake the digital transformation which is occurring globally. The lab is focusing on the value of data, a framework for cyber-human-physical systems and modelling and understanding the complexities of the digital transformation in infrastructure. This digital transformation will enable better communication and information with customers and community, and support better decision making, security for infrastructure data, strategic development and management of physical and financial resources. The Infrastructure Futures Lab currently leads research in collaboration with the water industry in Australia, seeking to develop the foundations for the future of the Water Infrastructure 4.0.

4D Printing Lab

A/Prof Akif Kaynak

The 4D Printing Lab is the pioneering research group in Australia incorporating 3D printing into soft robots and actuators. 4D printing involves the assembly of stimuli responsive materials (e.g. polymers, alloys, hydrogels, ceramics, and composites), incorporating their functions into a single printed construct; the fourth dimension refers to dynamic evolution of the 3D-printed structure over time in response to controlled stimuli (e.g. heat (pre-strain), electromagnetic radiations (infrared, IR), ohmic parameters (current and voltage), and pH). The 4D Printing Lab leads research addressing the challenges associated with the 4D printing technology and soft robotics and are exploring potential applications in various sectors such as engineering, agriculture, textiles and health.

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