A pioneering young Stoke-based business is set to revolutionise the world of additive manufacturing with its unique technology in 2022 – and plans to create highly paid jobs for the region.

Two-year-old Meta Additive, a spin-out from the University of Liverpool recently acquired by US-based Desktop Metal, has transformed a former ceramics factory in Longton into a hub for its game-changing advanced manufacturing technologies.

Its unique 3D printing technology – backed by a £1.2m Innovate UK SMART grant – dramatically reduces production costs by adapting standard binder-jet-printing to be suitable for mass manufacturing, rather than requiring the purchase of industrial-grade printers. It has also solved the problem of how to print multiple materials in one process – an industry first.

Together, these developments will enable manufacturers to make bespoke printed parts from almost any material or combination of materials, quickly and cheaply – adding a whole new dimension to 3D printing and dramatically extending the design possibilities.

As it progresses its revolutionary technology, the company wants to support economic growth in Staffordshire – creating new jobs and encouraging a more diverse range of people into science and engineering careers.

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Meta Additive Dr Kate Black said: “2022 is going to be an incredibly exciting year for our young business.

“Not only are we looking to create a new chapter in the history of additive manufacturing – backed by our parent company Desktop Metal – but we also want to play our part in revitalising the regional economy, creating new opportunities for local people.”

Kate, who was voted one of UK manufacturing’s top 100 influencers of 2021, added: “We are proud to be based in Stoke and see our work as a continuation of the region’s long history of manufacturing.

“I was delighted to read of plans to create a new institute of technology in Staffordshire. Industries such as additive manufacturing offer hugely exciting and rewarding careers and it is my personal mission to encourage more people, from more diverse backgrounds, into this field.”

Meta Additive operates from a base in the former Hudson and Middleton ceramics factory in Longton. Its eight-strong team includes leading experts and thinkers in the additive manufacturing world and it works in close collaboration with partners including the Manufacturing Technology Centre and suppliers EpiValence and Xaar.

Current 3D printing projects underway at the company include: ceramic filters for water filtration; aluminium parts for light-weighting in aerospace; heat sinks for electric vehicles; bespoke cosmetics.

The company wants to grow its team with creative thinkers who may or may not come from a scientific background.

Dr Kate Black said: “We believe we will only deliver real change when we focus on thinking creatively and inclusively, so we are constantly looking for out-of-the-box thinkers to collaborate with on our revolutionary technology. If that is you, we would love to hear from you.”