Youngstown State University Opens Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing

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ysuYoungstown State University has officially opened their Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing at the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It features two 3D printers which were purchased using funds provided through the Ohio Third Frontier.

The Printers which cost an average of $200,000 each are set to launch Youngstown State toward the forefront of 3D Printing in education.

“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,” stated YSU President Randy Dunn.

The two printers that YSU now have operating, are certainly some of the better 3D printers available today.  They are both provided by a company called ExOne corporation.

x1-lab

The X1-Lab 3D Printer

The X1-Lab is the smaller of the two printers.  It is specifically designed for research and educational customers, and is a great printer for developing powdered metal and glass materials.  It has a total build volume of only 1.5 X 2.3 X 1.3 in, but is very accurate and can create incredible detail.

m-flex

The M-Flex 3D Printer

The M-Flex printer is a large machine, that can print in faster speeds (Up to 30 seconds per layer), and create builds up to 15.7 X 9.8 X 9.8 in, with minimum layer thickness of only 0.15mm.  It is touted as being the fastest metal printer in its class.

YSU has been utilizing and educating with 3D printers for two years now, although their previous printers could only print using plastics.  These printers allow for printing in metal, ceramics, and some glasses.

Assigned to supervise the new lab are Brett Connor, and Guha Manogharan. Connor is an associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, who came to YSU last year after working for the U.S. milatary. Manogharan, is an assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and has several years of research experience in metal 3D printing.

Connor believes that this new lab puts YSU in great position to take the forefront of the next manufacturing revolution.  YSU suddenly becomes even more of an attractive University, for students that wish to go into fields of work that utilize 3D printing.

“We can now have the upper hand on other graduates, when entering the workplace, explained one student. “3D printing is the future, so we will be one step ahead of our competition.”

The new printers will be worked into the current courses at YSU, giving students a way to learn about customization through 3D design and expand their all around knowledge of 3D printing in general.

What do you think?  Is it a good idea for colleges to teach students about 3D printing?  How long will it take before other schools follow suit?  Discuss this article at: http://3dprintboard.com/showthread.php?1622-Youngstown-State-University-gets-2-3D-Printers-that-cost-400-000

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