UofL research partnership helps Kentucky manufacturers adopt 3D printing

Jack Roeder, bioengineering student, uses 3D printing equipment at the Additive Manufacturing Institute of Science and Technology at the University of Louisville

The UofL and the State Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Kentucky Alliance Advantage, are launching a new program to help manufacturers adopt 3D printing technology for their businesses to develop better products and improve productivity.

The program, called Accelerated Innovative Manufacturing with 3D Printing, or AIM-3DP, will provide small and medium-sized manufacturers in the automotive and aerospace industries with training, mentorship and UofL-supported research, development and advice. The work is supported by a new grant of $ 90,000, one of only three of its kind in the country, from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

“The aim is to help these companies take advantage of cutting-edge, forward-looking technologies,” said lead researcher Kunal Kate, assistant professor at UofL. JB Speed ​​School of Engineering. “I hope we can build on the research and innovation we are doing in advanced manufacturing at UofL and use it to help Kentucky businesses. “

AIM-3DP will partner with manufacturers with UofL researchers and students, who will work side-by-side to identify better and more efficient ways to manufacture, develop new product lines, and grow. Projects can be any size, although AIM-3DP will select two larger projects for more in-depth work and share the costs with the company.

AKA will provide coaching and training to AIM-3DP companies on business development, continuous improvement and leadership. Companies will also receive grant writing training in the hope that projects can lead to innovation research applications for small businesses and technology transfer for small businesses to fund development and innovation. technological.

Companies can apply to be part of the program here.

“Our mission at AKA is to help Kentucky manufacturers and distributors by increasing productivity and growth opportunities so they can retain and create additional jobs, be more competitive globally, and generate new sources. of income, ”said Scott Broughton, director of the AKA center. “AIM-3DP can help us fulfill this mission, and I am delighted to be working with UofL to achieve this. “

The grant to AIM-3DP is funded by an APLU research grant received from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, a physical science laboratory and a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. The initiative explores how public universities can develop and develop partnerships with Manufacturing Expansion Partnership Centers to increase the ability of small and medium-sized manufacturers to adopt key technologies for their success.

“We know that the adoption of technology is critical to the long-term success and sustainability of small and medium-sized manufacturers,” said Sheila Martin, vice president of economic and community engagement at APLU. “Yet barriers to the adoption of new technologies are still forcing too many manufacturers to close their doors. We are delighted that these public universities, MEP centers and private sector partners are mobilizing to find new models for increased success.

The AIM-3DP program builds on the strengths of both partners. At UofL, companies will have access to a robust infrastructure for additive manufacturing and materials innovation, including UofL Institute of Additive Manufacturing Science and Technology, known as AMIST, and its well-equipped center for rapid manufacturing.

“Kentucky has a rich manufacturing history to be proud of,” said Will Metcalf, associate vice president for research development and partnerships in the UofL office of research and innovation. “Through this work with AKA, we will help Kentucky manufacturers innovate, adopt advanced technologies and stay competitive. “

Other partnerships receiving AIM-3DP grants are the Northern Illinois University / Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center and the Ohio University / Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership Southeast.

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