The Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence (MAMCE) has unveiled new 3D technology that revolutionize manufacturing in Canada.
MAMCE, located at Custom Fabricators and Machinists (CFM) in Saint John, is the first centre of its kind to combine research and commercialization, as well as workforce development and training in innovative 3D metal manufacturing. CFM is the site of the new GE Additive Concept Laser M2 laser metal 3D printer - the first of its kind to be used in partnership with a Canadian research institution.
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material (in this case metals) until the object is created. 3D printing is a disruptive technology that enables the just-in-time production of stronger complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.
The University of New Brunswick is MAMCE’s research and development partner; J.D. Irving Limited’s Custom Fabricators and Machinists is the commercialization partner; and the community colleges in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are the workforce development and training partners.
“The collaborative work undertaken at MAMCE will have a direct benefit to the marine industry, the province of New Brunswick and the region,” said Dr. Paul Mazerolle, UNB president and vice-chancellor.
“Today’s event showcases the three pillars of MAMCE – research and development; workforce development and commercialization,” said Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi, director of MAMCE. “Our doors are now open to find research solutions that work for industry.”
Businesses will now have access to experts in the field of 3D metal printing and to a commercial metal 3D printer to provide stronger, cheaper, faster metal parts. The centre will also act as an incubator for new commercial product development.
“We look forward to working closely with Dr. Mohammadi and his team as we develop new markets in the growing marine manufacturing sector,” said David Saucy, vice-president, Construction and Equipment Division of J.D. Irving, Limited.
This unique initiative will enable New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada to develop a core expertise in this emerging technology and help create the foundation for the next generation of manufacturing.
“We consider additive manufacturing critical to the region as it enables our small and large industries to be globally competitive as early adopters of these cutting-edge technologies, said Laura Richard, director of research, NBIF. “NBIF supported the recruitment of Dr. Mohammadi with our start-up funding and we have had faith in his pioneering vision since the very beginning. We are very pleased to see the cumulation of all his hard work in the official opening of the MAMCE facility.”
MAMCE consists of a dedicated research and development team within the Faculty of Engineering at UNB in Fredericton. The 3D metal printing will be completed at an advanced manufacturing facility within CFM’s industrial fabrication and machine shop in Saint John. In addition, the centre will host technology training programs, through hands-on experience with 3D metal printing and design, in partnership with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) and partnering with Custom Fabricators and Machinists (CFM) on commercialization.
“We are looking forward to working with industry and researchers to help provide a skilled and educated workforce in this new field,” said Ann Drennan, vice-president academic and research, NBCC.
With effective partnerships, proven research techniques and workforce development, the centre will ensure the successful adoption of additive manufacturing in Canada.