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Manufacturing Hub Officially Open

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, September 27, 2012 — The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute is ready to change the face of domestic manufacturing. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Thursday at the new facility on Boardman Street in downtown Youngstown, Ohio.

NAMII is set to redefine American manufacturing. Downtown Youngstown has been chosen for the pilot institute by the Obama Administration, in part, because of its rich history of manufacturing.

"Because we did hit rock bottom, and now the phrase that is in the Financial Times today is 'The Miracle on the Mahoning River' because of what's happening here," said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles.

Some $30 million in federal dollars and $40 million more from a consortium of members, including Youngstown State University, is funding the additive manufacturing initiative, also known as 3-D printing.

The institute will work to further develop this technology for uses in the defense, medical, aerospace and the consumer electronics industries and beyond. The goal is to attract business owners to the area who want to utilize this form of manufacturing.  

"It's the next step in what manufacturing is. Instead of subtractive manufacturing, which is cutting away, removing material to make things, we're actually building things up by adding materials together. So, additive manufacturing is looked at as the future of manufacturing in general," said NCDMM communications manager Scott Deutsch.

Charles Mura, a student at Robert Morris University, was on hand Thursday to demonstrate the process that uses computer software to build plastic parts that will be used to construct another 3-D printer.

"And you can use different types of filaments and materials. We use two different types of filaments and materials, mainly PLA, which is polyactic acid, which is derived from corn and is bio-degradable," said Mura.

The technique is cheaper than traditional methods of machining or injection molding.

Another process makes metal products out of stainless steel powder. ExOne of Irwin, PA is already using the method and has done a lot of prototyping work.

"And then you put it into the furnace and it comes out of the furnace as a usable metal part that you would get out of any machining process or casting process," said Jason Plymire with ExOne.

The shared thought at the institute is that what they are demonstrating now is just the tip of the iceberg for this technology.

Source: wytv.com, © 2012 New Vision Television

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