Jul 5, 2017 | By Tess

Lockheed Martin, the American global aerospace and defense company, has announced it will be investing $1 million to establish an additive manufacturing facility at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. The lab, which will be dedicated to developing 3D printed aerospace parts, will be the first of its kind in the state of Colorado.

The $1 million in funding will reportedly be distributed over the course of four years to set up the Lockheed Martin Additive Manufacturing Laboratory and to fund an endowed director for the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute. The 3D printing lab is aimed at shaping “the workforce of the future in manufacturing affordable, capable, innovative spacecraft.”

"This grant is an investment in the futures of the students at MSU Denver and the aerospace community," commented Brian O'Connor, vice president of Production Operations at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. "Emerging manufacturing technologies will create possibilities we can only dream of today, like printing an entire satellite from the ground up or printing complex parts that we can’t machine using traditional methods.”

“We're helping students design with those new concepts in mind so the next space missions are innovative, affordable and faster to market. This lab will help students unleash their creativity in engineering tomorrow's great advancements,” he added.

Lockheed Martin made the funding announcement last week at the inauguration of the Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building at MSU. The overall goal is to inspire and provide adequate technological training for the next generation of workers for the aerospace industry.

MSU Denver's new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building

(Image: Alyson McClaran/MSU Denver​)

In fact, Lockheed Martin and the Colorado Space Business Roundtable (CSBR) have collaborated in order to promote the aerospace sector to local high school and college students. The forthcoming 3D printing facility at MSU could be a big draw for prospective students.

As part of its collaboration with CSBR, Lockheed Martin offers Colorado students a two-week summer program in which they can participate in hands-on projects at Lockheed Martin facilities, getting a first taste of what working in the aerospace field might be like. “You learn about all these different programs so if you decide you want to change your track you can do it now,” said Aditya Gopalam, a student at Rock Canyon High School.

MSU also recently brought in investments for its Aerospace and Engineering Sciences program from Hartwig Inc. and York Space Systems. The former has signed a 10-year agreement with university to supply $2 million worth of CNC machining solutions. In return, Hartwig Inc. will have access to sections of the AES facility for demonstration purposes.

York Space Systems, a Denver-based aerospace company, will be moving its headquarters to the new AES facility as it prepares to manufacture 150 to 200 small satellites a year. Students at the university will have access to the company’s communication room in the building and will be given a unique insight into the production of satellites for the U.S. Army.

Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D., MSU Denver President, said: “With support from key partners like Lockheed Martin, MSU Denver can offer students education opportunities that directly address workforce needs in Colorado's key industry clusters. Students now have the rare opportunity to work with technology and equipment used by some of the top advanced manufacturing companies in the world.”



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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