Auburn University NASA to explore 3-D printing applications Made in Alabama Alabama Department of Commerce

today signed a Space Act Agreement to explore and advance the applications of additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing a technology that will revolutionize how all kinds of products, from simple items to components in rocket engines, are made.

The signing took place during the universitys forum on additive manufacturing, a process that uses 3-D printing to make a three-dimensional part or instrument, providing substantial technological advances and cost savings over traditional manufacturing methods. The forum was co-sponsored by Auburn University and the City of Auburn Industrial Development Board.

Additive manufacturing is a major advancement for the future direction for the nations industries, said John Mason, Auburn University vice president for research and economic development. The partnership with NASA is an excellent opportunity to engage and leverage each others capabilities and expertise.

The Space Act Agreement, in addition to focusing on additive manufacturing, is designed to advance STEM disciplines science, technology, engineering and mathematics by engaging students and teachers in NASAs missions and opportunities; investigate and develop technologies; and share facilities, capabilities and technical expertise.

This tool was made on the International Space Station using a 3-D printer.

GE Aviations Auburn facility will be the worlds first factory for 3-D printed jet nozzles.

As we continue developing the agencys powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System, for deep-space missions to an asteroid and a journey to Mars, additive manufacturing techniques are making it possible to create and test innovative new designs quickly and affordably, said Patrick Scheuermann, director of NASAsMarshall Space Flight Centerin Huntsville.

Marshall is also pioneering the use of3-D printers in space, and the recycling and sustainability of advanced manufacturing materials needed to enable long-term missions, Scheuermann added. Were pleased to partner with industry and academia as we focus on technologies that not only are central to the nations space mission but also benefit aerospace and other activities on Earth.

The Marshall Center has used additive manufacturing to build and test rocket engine components, includinga full-scale copper rocket part, and to manufacture the first 3-D printed parts aboard the International Space Station.

Auburns forum, Additive Manufacturing, the Next Industrial Revolution, brought together leaders from the private sector, academia and government to explore opportunities and challenges of using this advanced technology in manufacturing.

Greg Morris, general manager of additive technologies with GE Aviation in Cincinnati, gave the keynote address. As part of a $50 million project announced in 2014, GE Aviation is bringinghigh-volume additive manufacturingto its facility in Auburn to manufacture jet engine fuel nozzles.

We are establishing partnerships with highly innovative businesses and organizations to spur economic growth throughout the state and region, Auburns Mason said. These relationships benefit our students with learning experiences, while companies benefit from the practical, applied solutions developed through research conducted by faculty and students.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, also spoke at the forum, giving attendees an update on the states focus on recruiting advanced manufacturing jobs at facilities like GE Aviations in Auburn. He also outlinedimprovements to the states workforce development programs, which have been consolidated within Commerce.

Tags:3-D printingAlabama aerospace industryAuburn University

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