Additive manufacturing (AM) is also known as 3D printing. It is a layer-by-layer fabrication process that provides distinct advantages in producing complex, customized, and/or low-volume time-critical parts. AM is being used to fabricate fully functional final parts, prototypes, and tooling. There are seven different categories of AM process technologies and within those categories metal, ceramic, plastic, and even biological tissues can be printed.
YSU’s Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing (CIAM) was created to advance research, education, workforce development, and industry partnerships in this emerging field. CIAM is the focal point for additive manufacturing activities providing a resource for the College of STEM but also for other academic divisions including the arts and health sciences.
CIAM has the following emphasis areas:
- Materials characterization
- Process development for materials
- Precision post-processing of printed parts
- Innovative business strategies
- Digital manufacturing thread for AM
- Design for AM
Current capabilities within CIAM include:
- ExOne M-Flex and X1-Lab binder jetting printers capable of printing metal and ceramic parts. The M-Flex is a production system with a build volume of 400 x 250 x 250 mm (15.7 x 9.8 x 9.8 in.).
- A 3-D printing kiosk in the lobby of Moser Hall with two MakerGear M2 printers that are available for use by the campus community.
- MakerBot Replicator 2X dual extruder printer capable of either printing two colors or printing a part material and a dissolvable support filament.
- A Hyrel 3-D printer with high resolution and thin wall capability.
- Siemens NX PLM software including the full suite of drawing, analysis, automation, manufacturing and production modules.
Funding from the Ohio Board of Regents, Ohio Third Frontier and Appalachian Regional Commission will add additional capabilities during the 2014-2015 school year.
CIAM is only 1,000 steps from America Makes. This proximity enables a Youngstown area network of industrial grade 3D printing systems for research and education. As a member of America Makes, YSU’s faculty and students can access equipment at America Makes such as selective laser melting printing for metals, selective laser sintering of polymers, and industrial sized fused deposition modeling printing. Several members of CIAM are currently pursuing co-op and internship at America Makes to get hands-on training on advanced metal AM technologies.