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YSU opens Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing

Manufacturing Group | February 1, 2014

Ribbon cutting at Youngstown State University puts YSU at the forefront of the 3D printing revolution.

Youngstown, Ohio - Youngstown State University cut the ribbon earlier this week on the new Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing, putting YSU at the forefront of the 3D printing industrial revolution.

“We are committed to establishing a leadership position in additive manufacturing and developing YSU as the best place in the world for educational opportunities on this breakthrough technology,” YSU President Randy J. Dunn said.

The center in Moser Hall on the YSU campus features two high-end 3D printers that will enable research for undergraduate- and graduate-level students, as well as students in the university’s new PhD program in materials science and engineering. The lab also allows for education and workforce development in additive manufacturing.

YSU is only the second university in the world with this specific equipment fully installed and operating, said Martin Abraham, dean of the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The center will be supervised by two new faculty members: Brett Conner, associate professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, who came to YSU last summer after nearly 15 years in research and development for the U.S. military and for Alcoa; and Guha Manogharan, assistant professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, a Ph.D. candidate at North Carolina State University who boasts several years of research experience in metal additive manufacturing and its applications.

“The acquisition of this new equipment, combined with the hiring of world-class faculty, demonstrates that YSU is committed to providing the resources necessary to create a state-of-the-art additive manufacturing program that will attract the best and brightest students, faculty and researchers from around the world,” Abraham said.

The center and faculty appointments are the latest in a series of YSU efforts related to additive manufacturing, a new process that experts say represents a potential revolution in production methods across many industries. The university played a central role in the federal government’s decision in summer 2012 to select downtown Youngstown as the site of the first National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, now called America Makes. YSU students and faculty are regularly engaged in America Makes activities. The proximity of America Makes a mere four blocks from campus also helped catch the eye of the global Siemens Corp., which announced last spring that it was awarding $440 million worth of software and training to the YSU STEM college. In addition, earlier this month, Darrell Wallace, formerly a member of YSU’s engineering faculty, was named America Makes’ new deputy director of Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise. In turn, Michael Hripko, former director of the YSU’s STEM College Research and Technology-based Economic Development, was named deputy director of Workforce and Educational Outreach at America Makes.

“This new lab, combined with our proximity to America Works resulting in strong connections and partnerships, means that our students will receive a level of instruction and hands-on, real-world research and development, and interaction with industry leaders in 3D printing, that is truly unique and world class,” Conner said.

Abraham said the new center also supports YSU’s activities on two new research projects announced last week by America Makes. YSU is partnering with the University of Texas El Paso to develop multifunctional 3D printing for aerospace applications and with the Youngstown Business Incubator to advance the adoption of 3D printing technologies for the foundry industry. Abraham said the new equipment complements previous equipment purchases to allow YSU students to learn about this new technology for a broad range of applications.

The lab features an ExOne M-Flex printer and an ExOne X1-Lab printer. The printers were purchased with funds provided through the Ohio Third Frontier as part of the Wright Center for Sensor Systems Engineering project, and also with university funds.

Source: Youngstown State University

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