Alcoa Invests $60M in New Facility Concentrating on 3D Printing, Unveils New Ampliforge Process

Share this Article

al3The world’s third largest producer of aluminum, Alcoa, has seemingly taken a keen liking to 3D printing. Back in November of last year it was reported that the company would be adopting the technology for the production of jet engine components, and then just a few months ago in June, they announced a $22 million investment to expand their use of additive manufacturing at their Whitehall, MI facility.

Today we get word that the Pittsburgh, PA-based company will be investing an additional $60 million to expand the R&D wing of the Alcoa Technical Center, primarily so that they can more efficiently and quickly develop advanced 3D printing materials. The Center, which is already the largest in the world when it comes to light-weight metal research, will soon be a hub for the development of a range of additive manufacturing-related materials for industries such as aerospace, medical, automotive and construction.

al1

“Alcoa is investing in the next generation of 3D printing for aerospace and beyond,” said Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld. “Combining our expertise in metal alloys, manufacturing, design and product qualification, we will push beyond the limits of today’s additive manufacturing. This investment strengthens our leadership position in meeting fast-growing demand for aerospace components made using additive technologies.”

The new facility will be completed by the first quarter of 2016 and is expected to eventually result in over 100 new full-time jobs, which will include design experts, inspection and process specialists, and materials specialists.

In addition to this announcement, the company also has unveiled a new manufacturing process called Ampliforge. This process combines traditional manufacturing techniques with advanced materials and 3D printing, enhancing al8the properties of objects which otherwise would have been manufactured using traditional means. According to Alcoa, this new process results in objects which are produced with superior toughness and strength, while simplifying overall production techniques and reducing material use.

Alcoa says that they have a three-pronged approach when it comes to their additive manufacturing ambitions, which include:

  • Qualification Expertise – Testing and process control expertise from years of research and implementation allows them to overcome the many challenges involved in additive manufacturing.
  • Materials Leadership – Alcoa has invented over 90% of all the aluminum alloys used within the aerospace industry today, and will leverage this experience and success to produce nickel, titanium and aluminum powders for 3D printing.
  • Combination of Process and Design – The company will look to reduce costs, increase speeds, and achieve intricate geometries via their new additive manufacturing and hybrid additive manufacturing techniques, which include their Ampliforge process.

As the market for materials within the additive manufacturing space is predicted to expanded exponentially over the next four to five years, Alcoa seems to be positioning themselves as a leader within the materials and processes space. Let us know your thoughts on these moves in the Alcoa 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.

Share this Article


Recent News

Desktop Metal Buys 3D Printing Resin Maker Adaptive3D

Laser Sintering 3D Printer Firm Farsoon Expands into Japan



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Guns

3D Printer Reviews


You May Also Like

3D Systems Expands in Denver to Address Demand for 3D Printed Products

As part of its planned expansion, 3D Systems announced it would add 50,000 square feet of facility space to its FDA-registered and ISO 13485-certified Denver, Colorado site. Along with new...

Satori Set to Launch Kickstarter Campaign for New Industrial Resin 3D Printer

London-based tech company Satori launched its first resin 3D printer, the compact yet professional ST1600, in October of 2020, and introduced a partnership program at the same time in order...

6K to Develop Battery Materials with $25M Investment

After just a few years in existence, 6K has made itself increasingly well-known in the 3D printing industry with its unique metal materials production technology. The startup suggests that its...

Virtual Review: the Formlabs Fuse 1 SLS 3D Printer

The desktop fused filament fabrication (FFF) movement quickly saw a proliferation of low-cost FFF systems, which was followed by a similar trend with desktop vat photopolymerization machines. The low-cost selective...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.