February 19, 2018, by Shirlene Campbell Ritchie
Snapshots of success
Building blocks for a lighter future – that was the title of the photo which bagged third place in the Innovation category in this year’s EPSRC science photography competition.
The winner, Sam Catchpole Smith, is a third year student at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing,
The image features a stunning close-up shot of aluminium building blocks. The lattice structures were produced through selective laser melting, a type of additive manufacturing of 3D printing. The structures have exceptional strength and stiffness, which allow engineers to significantly reduce the weight of components.
When asked about the inspiration behind the shot, Sam said, ‘The lattice structures are the focus of my PhD project and were designed and manufactured at the Centre for Additive Manufacturing. They are very interesting shapes and have a variety of different forms, so there are lots of small details which make you look closely at the picture. It is also quite fascinating that these structures can be made in metal using additive manufacturing or 3D printing – most people associate 3D printing with plastic ‘toys’ but there are many high-performance applications for the technology.’
Not to be outdone, second place in the same category went to Dr Mahetab Amer, a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Science for her image entitled, High throughput screening: In search of serendipity.
The picture shows the screening of hundreds of polymers to investigate their material properties and how these can influence human stem cells’ ability to turn into bone cells. The ability of cells to attach to materials is an essential step towards the discovery of new biomaterials for growing stem cells.
Congratulations to our winners for their keen eyes for detail and snapping up the top spots in the competition.
You can view the list of this year’s winners here