OTTAWA, ONTARIO — A unique research facility officially opened at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont., today to house 3D printers that can turn digital images into metal or plastic objects faster than traditional manufacturing techniques. The Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre received more than $700,000 in financial support through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund, and will be a premier destination for those who want to make the next-generation of consumer products.
The centre houses two 3D printers capable of spraying and then fusing thousands of microscopic layers of metal or plastic onto a surface, building a unique digitally-designed object from the ground up. This advanced technology which translates computer images into small-batch, custom-made products will allow Canadian companies to workshop and improve their designs as a 3D product before placing it on the market.
The centre is listed on the CFI’s Research Facilities Navigator, an online directory of research facilities across the country that are open to working with business. Using the Navigator, researchers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton recently established a partnership with the Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre to print metal parts for a robot that samples breast cancer tissue. If these newly printed parts prove to be precise and cost-effective, researchers will be able to scale up the manufacturing of the robotic components for clinical use and international distribution.
“Canada’s colleges work with the private sector in state-of-the-art research labs to create innovative products and services,” says Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. “These prototypes can be applied rapidly, giving Canada’s manufacturing industry a unique advantage in the highly competitive global marketplace.”