Researchers in the School of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering (SOMMME) and the School of Bio-Systems and Environmental Engineering (SOBEE) at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in collaboration with Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg (TUBAF) of Germany, have launched an additive manufacturing project christened; Sustain AM.
The project aims to enhance sustainable additive manufacturing by incorporating bio-based materials that currently go to waste, underutilized or unwanted.
To guarantee the success of the project, a visit took place from 8th to 19th November 2021 to TUBAF to explore various ways to ensure the four year project is successfully implemented to benefit both collaborating institutions.
During the visit, several important discussions were held including presentations from both universities, highlighting capabilities and opportunities for further collaborations, setting project milestones, deliberating on possible purchase of equipment for JKUAT’s AM laboratory as well as touring the additive manufacturing facilities in TUBAF.
Since the project aims to incorporate bio-based materials to the additive manufacturing process chain, several potential bio-based materials in Kenya are either underutilized and thus go to waste, or are alternatively, a menace to the environment, were considered for investigation.
The project focus is to not only to extend the range of printable additive manufacturing materials but also to establish a Center of Excellence in Additive Manufacturing at JKUAT. The project will involve capacity development and foster a much needed exchange of technical and cultural know how between JKUAT and TUBAF.
The JKUAT team was represented by Prof. (Eng) Bernard W. Ikua, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Dr.-Ing. James Wamai Mwangi (Mechatronic Eng.), Dr. Eng. Samuel Kabini Karanja, Chairman, Department of Mechatronics Engineering, Ms. Maurine Naliaka Andanje, Ms. Lucy Wanja Kariuki both from Mechatronics Engineering, Dr-Ing. James Kuria Kimotho, Chairman, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Dr. Erick Kiplangat Ronoh, Chairman, Department of Agricultural and Bio-Systems Engineering.
TUBAF was represented by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Henning Zeidler who is the Head of the Professorship of Additive Manufacturing in the Institute for Machine Elements, Engineering Design and Manufacturing as well as Dr.-Ing. Lisa Kühnel, Dipl.-Ing. Leif Micke and Dipl-Geol. Manuela Junghans who are both research associates at the Professorship of Additive Manufacturing.