MAPP aligned Post Doctoral Research Associate Dr Felicity Freeman has designed a game that provides a fun introduction to metal additive manufacturing.

Dr Corinne Howse at MRE

Beat the Machine (Learning) has been showcased by MAPP at public engagement events at the start of 2019. It was popular with young people at the Exploring STEM for Girls event in Sheffield and with a wide range of visitors at Materials Research Exchange 2020 in London.

The game demonstrates some of the challenges faced when trying to optimise a manufacturing process, and how researchers are addressing these challenges. It is designed to simulate closed-loop control, allowing the user to control power and speed in a Selective Laser Melting (SLM) build.

Dr Freeman said: "Closed-loop control is a key part of most modern manufacturing and even household processes, improving efficiency and reducing variation. This game specifically demonstrates how closed-loop control can be applied in metal 3D printing (additive manufacturing).

"STEM students will be familiar with desktop polymer 3D printers, so understanding how closed-loop control works, and how it can be applied to metal additive manufacturing will enhance students’ appreciation of the challenges faced in modern engineering and the increasing role that sensing technologies (thermal cameras) have to play."

Click here to visit the game's page on MAPP's website.

Visitors to the MAPP stand at Exploring STEM for Girls in Sheffield (2020)