Oct 26, 2016 | By Benedict

New York has opened the new Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing (AMPrint) Center at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Equipped with Optomec and Stratasys 3D printers, the center will see university and corporate experts develop 3D printing technologies, materials, and devices.

RIT, home of the AMPrint Center

California might be the home of US technological innovation these days, but there is still a huge amount of 3D printing expertise to be found in New York, where the state has just opened the AMPrint Center, a brand-new 3D printing hub where academia and business can converge to share ideas and shape the future of additive manufacturing. The $18 million+ center, located on the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Henrietta campus, will be used to develop next-generation multi-functional 3D printing technologies, materials, and devices.

The Finger Lakes region of New York, where RIT is located, is the state’s busiest wine-producing region, but will soon be bottling up more and more 3D printing resins and other materials. The area has long been recognized for its many printing and imaging businesses, and the new additive manufacturing center will see that established printing tradition thrust into the future. “The AMPrint center…affirms RIT’s leadership in establishing the Finger Lakes as a nexus for advanced manufacturing and imaging technology,” commented Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The 3,200-square foot AMPrint Center, housed in RIT’s Institute Hall, will be directed by Denis Cormier, RIT’s Earl W. Brinkman Professor and a national expert on additive manufacturing. Cormier has said that the 3D printing center will help expand the multi-functional printing ecosystem of the Finger Lakes, ensuring that the region becomes a “globally recognized industry hub” for 3D printing. By focusing on ultra-fast, high-end 3D printers as well as consumer-level machines, the center aims to attract industry experts from far and wide.

Opening ceremony for the AMPrint Center for 3D printing and additive manufacturing

The New York-based AMPrint Center contains laboratory space, offices, and meeting rooms, and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Its in-house machines include an Optomec Aerosol Jet printer, various Stratasys 3D printers, and a Novacentrix photonic curing system. The Novacentrix system is rarely found in university settings, and will be a resource for both researchers and regional companies looking to create new devices using metals and ceramics. RIT will also acquire the first liquid metal 3D printing system from Vader Systems, a Buffalo-based company.

One of the 3D printing center’s founding partners is American printing corporation Xerox, which helped to establish the center in 2015. Xerox will invest up to $1.5 million in the center, affording it direct access to the facility and the potential to collaborate with its leading researchers. This direct access will enable Xerox to search for potential future employees at the center.

In addition to major names like Xerox, smaller companies will also make use of the AMPrint center to develop next-generation polymer, metal, and composite technologies; synthesize advanced functional materials; develop additive manufacturing technologies; design novel devices using new materials and technologies; and devise a means to commercialize their new products.

Selection of the AMPrint Center's in-house 3D printers: (t-b) MarkForged Mark One, Stratasys Connex J750, Formlabs Form 2

To showcase the academic-business crossover potential of the Center, RIT recently revealed some of the projects already underway. These included a collaboration between RIT and Hardinge Corp., an Elmira-based equipment manufacturing company, to develop hybrid manufacturing equipment that combines metal laser 3D printing with traditional machining. Other projects included a collaboration between local startup Sensor Films Inc. and Xerox, the development of an intricate micro-pump system for hearing disorders, and a 3D printed football helmet made by a multi-disciplinary team of RIT graduates.

Like the other 14 Centers for Advanced Technology, the AMPrint Center is supported by NYSTAR, NYS Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation, which will provide $9.2 million in state funding over 10 years and $9.7 million in university and industry funding for the AMPrint Center. Grants are awarded through a competitive program intended to spur economic growth, promote workforce development and increase the competitiveness of N.Y. companies in the global marketplace.

AMPrint Center direct-write, curing, and 3D printing equipment:

  • Novacentrix PulseForge 3300
  • Optomec Aerosol Jet 300
  • nScrypt 3Dn
  • Roth & Rau Pixdro IP410 Inkjet Material Deposition System
  • SurfX Atomflo 400 Atmospheric Plasma Unit
  • Stratasys Fortus 450mc
  • Stratasys Connex J750
  • MarkForged Mark One 3D
  • Hybrid Metal Additive Manufacturing
  • ExOne M-Lab
  • ZCorp Spectrum Z-510
  • Hyrel
  • FormLabs Form 2
  • Full Spectrum Laser Pegasus Touch
  • Stratasys Dimension Elite
  • MakerBots



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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