Concept Laser has partnered with Honeywell Aerospace and PADT to open a new additive manufacturing research centre for 3D metal printing at Arizona State University (ASU). The research centre is based at The Polytechnic School’s campus; the school is using the machines for various research and development activities including materials development and prototyping of complex mechanical and energy systems.
The director of ASU’s Polytechnic School, Ann McKenna, stated: ‘Partnering with these industry leaders provides us with the capabilities to do additional research and enhance our education programmes. With so few of these types of centre, this makes ASU more attractive among academic partners, federal agencies and corporations to advance additive manufacturing.’
The University offers the only undergraduate manufacturing engineering degree in the state of Arizona, and is one of the 21 courses that are offered in the US. John Murray, president and CEO of US-based subsidiary Concept Laser Inc, said: ‘Changing the future of metal additive manufacturing begins with educated teachers and curious students. The educational leadership that the ASU Polytechnic School provides to the Southwest region and the industry will certainly be impactful. Concept Laser is proud to be a partner in this initiative.’
The research facility is 15,000 square feet and holds more than $2 million worth of polymer and metal additive manufacturing equipment. The lab is equipped with Concept Laser M2 cusing, and Mlab cusing machines, which are dedicated to 3D metal printing. Unlike conventional methods of metal fabrication, additive manufacturing allows fully-dense metal parts to be created by melting layer upon layer of ultra-fine metal powder.
Don Godfrey, engineering fellow at Honeywell, said: ‘For many years, we have worked with ASU seniors on their capstone projects, with three of these projects this school year additive manufacturing focused. In addition to our own additive manufacturing operations, we have provided mentorship to students in the programme and assisted in the procurement of one machine for the schools’ new lab. We look forward to growing our relationships with the university in developing brilliant minds to tackle and overcome industry challenges associated with aviation and additive manufacturing.’
Rey Chu, principal, manufacturing technologies at PADT, commented: ‘This partnership is the next and obvious step in the progression of additive manufacturing in the Southwest. With Concept Laser’s outstanding technology, Honeywell’s leadership in applying additive manufacturing to practical aerospace needs, PADT’s extensive network of customers and industry experience, and ASU’s proven ability to educate and work with industry, the effort will establish a strong foundation for the entire regional ecosystem.’