New Dimension

Committee to advocate manufacturing advancement
by Don Rodriguez

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To address the issues related to new processes that are rapidly changing the traditional methods of manufacturing, the Arizona Technology Council has established the Additive Manufacturing Committee.

Additive manufacturing (AM) refers to methods in which parts are fabricated layer by layer compared to cutting a part out of a solid block of material. It’s more commonly known as 3-D printing.

The new committee was formed to promote AM and educate potential users; act as a forum to influence local regulation, national certification and standards organizations; and serve as a rallying point for collaboration.

The young technologies related to AM already are applicable to many different industries and exist for a range of materials — from chocolate and pancakes to polymers, ceramics and metals. The nature of the manufacturing processes allows a high degree of geometric control and complexity. Polymer AM technology already has revolutionized the rapid prototyping industry. With recent improvements to metal AM technology, these processes are poised to enable rapid manufacturing.

Still, there is more potential to explore. The industry needs more formal education and training; better methods to select ideal candidates for printing; approaches to post-process, inspect, qualify and certify parts created by these new methods; and design tools and expertise to leverage the geometric freedom more common to AM. Due consideration also needs to be given to the safety and environmental aspects of these technologies and their operation in compliance with local, state and federal regulations.

These are the types of activities for which the Additive Manufacturing Committee will serve as a forum to inform, integrate and promote statewide collaboration. The committee also will pursue research grants and address pending regulation and legislation related to AM.

The committee’s activities were scheduled to launch in mid-June when representatives from small and large business sectors, Arizona State University and the Arizona Commerce Authority were scheduled to attend the inaugural meeting. The agenda called for outlining the AM interests and activities across the state along with a tour of Arizona’s first titanium 3-D printer.

With such an early level of interest from industry, academia and government, organizers believe the committee has the potential to help establish Arizona as an AM leader. The committee is looking to include all parties interested in advancing the adoption and growth of AM in Arizona, as well as those actively utilizing the technology.

For more information about the Additive Manufacturing Committee, which will meet the second Monday of each month, contact co-chairs Joe Manzo, CEO of Titan Industries, at joe.manzo@titan.industries or Dhruv Bhate, senior technologist at PADT, at
dhruv.bhate@padtinc.com.

Trackbacks

  1. […] The inBusiness magazine published an article on the newly formed Arizona Additive Manufacturing Committee that we co-chair with our friends at Titan Industries under the aegis of the Arizona Technology Council. Link to the article is here: http://inbusinessphx.com/partner-section/new-dimension#.V36QrvkrKUk […]

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