Design Engineering

UWaterloo, NRC partner to advance metal 3D printing

By DE Staff   

Additive Manufacturing

Pairing to focus on development and recycling of metal powder build materials.

(Photo credit: University of Waterloo)

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the University of Waterloo’s Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) Lab announced a seven-year partnership to help Canadian companies leverage the potential of metal 3D printing technologies.

The partnership combines MSAM’s expertise in metal AM process optimization with the NRC’s decades-long experience in materials science and metal powders development.

To support the collaboration, the NRC awarded close to $2.6 million worth of equipment to Waterloo as part of its Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster Support program, led by the NRC’s Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre.

The equipment will be housed at a NRC facility in Mississauga, officially inaugurated in November 2020. The site will launch powder synthesis, recycling and characterization capabilities in Ontario to customize AM and reduce material costs for industry applications.


According to the partners, the underlying objective is to make AM technology economically viable for more Canadian manufacturers, either by creating new commercial powders or dramatically reducing the costs of using existing powders.

A major thrust of the project will be the development of new AM powders using metal alloys that currently aren’t available or are prohibitively expensive. Researchers will also study re-using and recycling leftover powders, and the use of cheaper, less-refined powders that may still be capable of producing high-quality parts. The research teams will also study the production of powders by the Canadian mining industry of sufficient quality for AM processes.


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