YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University cut the ribbon Tuesday on its Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing.
Located on first floor of Moser Hall, the new center now houses two new state-of-the-art 3-D printers, recently purchased for the program. The new equipment is used at only one other school in the world.
The 3-D printing machines allow students to work with new mediums, including metals and ceramics. Previously, they could only work with plastics.
Ashley Martof, a junior industrial engineering major, is one of eight students trained on the new Ex One machine, a 3-D printer that allows YSU to work with new materials like stainless steel.
“The screen shows what we’re printing. We’re printing four YSU penguins, two Youngstown State coins and two test standard plates,” Martof said Tuesday. “What it is is a powder material that’s getting layered, layer by layer, and the print head is full of binder jet fluid.”
The new lab provides research opportunities as well as work force development.
Dr. Martin Abraham, dean of YSU STEM, said the students will be well trained using the technology and prepared when they hit the job market, internship or graduate program.
“We’re developing a significant additive manufacturing laboratory. We’ll be able to make parts at an industrial scale. Large type capability. Work with new materials. Develop and understand the properties of those new materials,” Dr. Abraham said.
The new equipment will be integrated into classes in the STEM program and used for undergraduate and graduate-level students, as well as students in the university’s new PhD program in materials science and engineering.
“Being able to have access to these machines is crucial to stand out in the market as well as prepare the students for different occupations,” said YSU industrial engineering major Ashley Bowers. “I just received a grant which is allowing me to complete research on the high strain rate behavior of additive manufacturing. Stainless steel plates. So we’ll apply it to applications such as vehicle armor, personal armor, as well as aerospace, things like that.”
“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 the breakthrough technology,” said YSU President Randy J. Dunn.
Two new faculty members also were added to the program.
“We want to integrate this equipment in the coursework. We want to be able to go teach our engineers how to design components, how to print components, to go from conception to final parts,” said Dr. Brett Conner, YSU advanced manufacturing professor.
YSU’s Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing sits just blocks away from America Makes, formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The center specializes in 3-D printing, manufacturing and design.
In 2013, Siemens Corporation awarded $440 million worth of software and training to the YSU STEM college to fund university efforts in the emerging field.