Canadian Researchers Help Pave the Way for Industrial Adoption of Additive Manufacturing

  • New NSERC strategic network for holistic innovation in additive manufacturing will investigate the fundamental scientific issues associated with metal additive manufacturing

Waterloo, ON, Canada – A newly formed NSERC strategic Network for Holistic Innovation in Additive Manufacturing (HI-AM), led by the University of Waterloo’s Professor Ehsan Toyserkani, is working on finding solutions to the roadblocks to broad and sustained industry adoption of metal AM. In partnership with Canadian industries and government agencies, this Network of 7 universities (University of Waterloo, McGill University, University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University, University of Alberta, University of Toronto, and Université Laval) will develop, optimize, and implement new feedstock materials, AM process models and simulations, monitoring sensors and closed-loop control systems, and novel AM processes and products.

In August 2018, the honorable Kirsty Duncan, Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport, announced a $5.5M grant for HI-AM Network through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) during a visit to Promation, an Ontario-based company involved in the Network. The Network will receive another $5M in support of its research activities from industrial and academic partners.

The next generation of AM systems will play an important role in the digital transformation of manufacturing known as Industry 4.0. The greatest impacts in this transition will come through the additive manufacturing of metal parts. Substantial progress has been made in recent years in this field, and the time is right for a coordinated and strategic approach to address the remaining challenges facing the widespread industry use of this technology such as lack of intelligence in current AM systems, limited databases and process maps for materials linked to design and process parameters, high cost of additively made parts, process repeatability/reliability, and productivity issues.

The NSERC HI-AM is the first national academic AM initiative in Canada, which has been formed at a critical time to build the partnerships, develop the intellectual property, and train the highly skilled workforce Canada needs to compete in the crucial arena of advanced manufacturing. The research outcomes of this Network will lead to numerous economic impacts, including reduction in manufacturing costs in terms of raw materials and manufacturing processes, improvements in mechanical properties and consistency of AM-parts, and a more rapid adoption of AM products and processes across Canadian manufacturing sectors which leads to increased market potential nationally and internationally.

For more information about the HI-AM Network visit http://nserc-hi-am.ca/.

Quotes from media release by NSERC
“I commend today’s recipients for the important work they are doing to contribute to Canada’s competitiveness. We are investing in you today because we know that when we invest in science and research we are investing in Canadians. The bold ideas your innovative partnerships will generate will have an important impact on our economy, creating good jobs and unique training opportunities for scientists and engineers here in Oakville and across the country.” – The honorable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“This investment will enable the team led by the University of Waterloo to increase our collaborations and partnerships with industry in Canada and abroad to help insure that our country plays a major role in integrating the transformative impacts of Additive Manufacturing globally, thereby securing Canada’s leadership in the realization of Industry 4.0.” – Prof. Ehsan Toyserkani, Canada Research Chair in Additive Manufacturing, NSERC HI-AM Network Director, University of Waterloo

General Information about University of Waterloo

General information about NSERC

Source: NSERC

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