Surface Design Show 2022

Surface Spotlight LIVE

Manchester Metropolitan University’s 3D additive and digital manufacturing centre, PrintCity, is showcasing two Interreg NW Europe funded projects at the Surface Design Show’s Surface Spotlight Live 2022, TRANSFORM-CE and CIRMAP. Aligned with the show’s theme, ‘Sense of Place’, both projects explore material and process innovation to support the transition to a more sustainable, circular economy. 

TRANSFORM-CETRANSFORMing single use plastic waste and creating a Circular Economy business model

TRANSFORM-CE is a €6.93million project led by Manchester Metropolitan University. Bringing together partners from the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, the project is transforming single use plastic waste into value-added products using innovative technologies, additive manufacturing and intrusion-extrusion moulding. 

As part of this, researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University have created a range of recycled additive manufacturing filaments from everyday plastic waste streams, including PET from used drinks bottles, ABS from recycled car interiors, and PLA from used coffee cups and lids. They are now working with businesses and other stakeholders to take up these recycled filaments, adopt additive manufacturing, redesign products and develop new, circular business models. 

A range of example products designed by PrintCity staff and students and manufactured using TRANSFORM-CE filaments are on show at the Surface Design Show – Surface Spotlight LIVE. 

Auxetic Tile

Jack Thomas, Technical Specialist, PrintCity

This auxetic tile design is printed using TRANSFORM-CE recycled PET filament. Although a solid material, the geometric design provides flexibility. 

Architectural Model

Emma Rothwell, Technical Officer, PrintCity

This architectural model is printed using TRANSFORM-CE recycled PET filament in orange and black. 

Textured Box

Emma Rothwell, Technical Officer, PrintCity

This textured box comprises two parts, which fit perfectly together with the join hidden between the joins in the spheres. It is printed using TRANSFORM-CE recycled PET filament in natural. 

3D Textile Print

Jessica Robinson, Technical Apprentice, PrintCity

This 3D textile print has been printed directly onto a translucent net fabric using TRANSFORM-CE recycled PET filament in orange and red.  

Lithographic Tile

Ed Keefe, Senior Lecturer in Digital Design and Manufacturing, PrintCity

This is a lithographic tile printed using TRANSFORM-CE recycled PET filament in natural. The semi-translucent material appears to show a textured surface until a light is shone behind it, revealing an intricate pattern. These designs were created from Ed Keefe’s own photographs, which were converted into three dimensional designs.

Inhabit (Insect hotel)

Emily Bagshaw, BA Textiles in Practice, Mixed-media and Embroidery (Alumni), Manchester Metropolitan University 

This is an insect hotel printed in TRANSFORM-CE recycled PET filament in black. This forms part of the Inhabit series, which explores ways in which surfaces within the built environment can be made to house other species, helping to spur increases in biodiversity within our cities.

Biomimetic Leaf

Mark Chester, Product Development Specialist, PrintCity Network

The three-dimensional design for this biomimetic leaf was created by scanning a real leaf with a 3D scanner. The design was then printed using TRANSFORM-CE recycled PET filament in orange. 

Raspberry Pi Housing

Gary Buller, Technical Team Leader, PrintCity

This is a custom housing for a Raspberry Pi, incorporating a textured surface to be compatible with attachable plastic parts. The design is printed in TRANSFORM-CE recycled filament in red.

Would you like to try our TRANSFORM-CE recycled filaments for yourself? Request a free sample spool here

CIRMAP: CIrcular economy via customisable furniture with Recycled MAterials for public Places

CIRMAP is a €6.98million project in which Manchester Metropolitan University is a key partner. Bringing together stakeholders from France, the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, the project is focused on establishing recycled fine aggregate (RFA) as a substitute for sharp sand in concrete 3D printing. The RFA materials are derived by crushing building and demolition wastes, such as concrete and brick, providing a potential carbon saving. As the dredging of virgin sharp sand can result in the disruption of fragile marine ecosystems, its replacement with RFA also presents potential ecological benefits. 

As part of this, researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University have procured two concrete 3D printers and have begun experimenting with different concrete formulas incorporating RFA. Over the course of the project, several examples of urban, memorial and garden furniture will be 3D printed from RFA concrete. 

Early, small-scale product samples have been created using the concrete 3D printers at Manchester Metropolitan University and are on show at the Surface Design Show – Surface Spotlight LIVE. 

Surface Design Show 2022 - The PrintCity Blog - Manchester Metropolitan University

Get in touch

If you're interested in working with us, or have questions about studying with us please get in contact.

 Telephone: 0161 247 6464


 Twitter: PrintCityMMU

    Data Protection

    The Manchester Metropolitan University (‘the University’) is the Data Controller for the personal data you disclose via this form. We will use your personal data in order to manage your enquiry. If you have consented to receive our marketing communications we will also use your personal data to send you targeted information about PrintCity and benefits which we think will be of interest. You can withdraw your consent to receiving any, or all, of the above communications at any point by emailing For further information about us, how we process your personal data and your rights, please view our privacy notice.

    Related Blog Articles

    Hazel Wood High School Visit

    Thanks to all the pupils and staff for visiting PrintCity on Tuesday 13th February. Below is a gallery of photos taken to capture the event.

    CAD Modelling & 3D Print Taster Day

    Today, we welcomed Year 10 pupils from St Annes RC Voluntary Academy in Stockport, continuing our long-running programme to introduce a new generation to the wonders of CAD modelling and …

    Abraham Moss School Visit

    Article written by student ambassadors: Chloe, Siva, Simba and Arran Year 10 pupils from Abraham Moss visited PrintCity for their 3D print and CAD Taster Day in which students transition …

    From Water Bottles to Key Rings: Students Get Creative with CAD at PrintCity!

    Blog written by student ambassadors: Brijesh Gurav, Swetha Subramanian, Joel Tatarek-Gintowt and Oliver Sargeant We welcomed 17 kids from Alder Community High school to PrintCity as part of our outreach …

    Visit from St. Peters RC High School, Manchester

    We had the pleasure of welcoming 14 pupils in Year 8 from St. Peter’s RC High School in Manchester as part of our Widening Participation outreach programme. Many thanks to …

    A tale of two cities

    Article written by student ambassadors: Callum Baxter, Swetha Subramanian, Brijesh Gurav and Oliver Sargeant We had the pleasure of entertaining a curious group of Salford City Academy pupils in conjunction …

    Meta Quest 2. Yours. To keep. Forever.

    The last two years have seen dramatic growth in virtual reality applications across many industrial sectors, from retail to tourism, training, gaming and prototyping ideas for customers. A report by …

    Student visit to Manchester Institute of Sport

    Our students recently enjoyed a trip to visit the team over at the Manchester Metropolitan University Institute of Sport to see how they could use acquired data from equipment that …

    Adventures in Additive – Kazakhstan teacher reflects on his PrintCity internship.

    My name is Asset Rakishev, and I’m from Kazakhstan. I am a teacher at Karagandy Technical University, which is also the same university where I graduated, in the field of …