University of Waterloo to help Canadians tap the potential of AM
Additive manufacturing experts will work with companies to develop 3D printed products, equipping them to either do their own production or outsource it.
The University of Waterloo is hoping to make additive manufacturing (AM) more accessible to Canadian companies. The educational institution has announced plans to build an AM lab. Backed by nearly $27 million in funding and in-kind support, when fully equipped, the new facility will be one of the 10 largest university-based AM labs in the world.
“Right now, we get a lot of calls from industry about how best to move in this direction,” said Mark Barfoot, managing director of the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab at Waterloo. “With this lab, we can leverage our expertise to help companies adopt AM to be globally competitive in the new advanced manufacturing economy.”
Experts in the field of additive manufacturing will work with companies to develop their 3D printed products, equipping them to either do their own production or outsource it.
The Waterloo lab will also function as a research hub, developing next-generation AM to process metals through the use of new sensors, quality assurance sofance software and machine intelligence. Research will involve at least 14 professors and dozens of engineers, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and co-op students. Researchers will also collaborate with peer institutions with top AM labs, including those in Germany, the United States, and Singapore. The Waterloo lab aims to achieve this through end-to-end innovation.
“This will change the entire manufacturing enterprise,” said Ehsan Toyserkani, a professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, who leads the Waterloo research team.
The project received a $8.9 million funding boost through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Combined with $6.2 million from the province, that makes it the largest-ever government investment in AM at a Canadian university.