News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Lehmans

Don Drumm Studios

The Holden Arboretum


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business




Exploradio: Additive manufacturing comes of age
An old warehouse in Youngstown is home to the country's first manufacturing research institute under a new private/public initiative
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
Metal and plastic parts made with 3-D printing technologies are on display at NAMII in Youngstown. The new research center is the inaugural institute in a White House initiative to rebuild U.S. manufacturing through innovation and research.
Courtesy of Jeff St.Clair
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A federal program to boost manufacturing in the U.S. is hitting the ground first in Northeast Ohio.  Youngstown’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the first of fifteen regional manufacturing centers being created under a White House initiative.

In this Week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair explores the future of making things.

Exploradio: Additive manufacturing comes of age

Other options:
MP3 Download (4:23)


(Click image for larger view.)

Additive vs subtractive manufacturing
For generations, metal parts have been made by stripping away layers of metal and leaving a pile of shavings on the floor. President Obama, in his State of the Union speech this year, presented an alternative to this approach.  He said the country's first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio transformed a once shuttered warehouse into, "a state of the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3-D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.”

The refurbished warehouse the President mentioned is home to NAMII  -  the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Spokesman Scott Deutsch and the NAMII team are still settling into the century-old structure, with its lofty ceilings and hard-wood floors, but already about half-a-dozen sleek new machines hug the walls ready for use.  Additive manufacturing, Deutsch says, is the opposite of the messy subtractive process, “We are only using the material that we need in order to manufacture something. The product consumed is the product needed to make the part.”

Printing a metal masterpiece
To illustrate one additive technique, Deutsch lifts the lid of a machine and points to two small trays holding a gray material. What looks like sand, he says, is really finely powdered stainless steel. Using a 3-D printing process called “fusion deposition modeling,” or FDM, the machine can form intricate, lattice-work metal parts that would be impossible to make using traditional methods. Deutsch says a print head similar to the inkjet printer on your desktop deposits a small droplet of binder onto the metal powder one layer at a time to build the part.  It's then heated to drive off the binder and harden the metal product.

Deutsch and his colleagues rattle off other additive technologies housed here – laser powder bed, electron beam wire, laser sintering, selective laser melting... and NAMII director Ed Morris' favorite additive manufacturing product, lasagna.  It's an image he uses to describe how a shiny metal bracket was formed.  He says the aircraft part was made with high-strength titanium wire fed into a laser powered 3-D printer, built-up layer by layer like lasagna.

From rust-belt to tech-belt 
NAMII is the model for the nation’s next 14 proposed manufacturing innovation centers. It’s a membership organization with around 70 companies, universities, and economic development organizations paying between 15- and $200,000 a year to use the equipment and, at the upper end, earning a seat on the governing board.  Avon Lake-based manufacturer RP&M is a NAMII member and their research specialist Clark Patterson was in Youngstown to test a large scale 3-D printer.  He says it makes sense to house NAMII here because Ohio has a very high density compared to the rest of the nation for additive manufacturing, "even before NAMII existed.”

NAMII’s Scott Deutsch hopes the Northeast Ohio research hub will improve the region’s reputation. He says although the region's been hit hard by economic forces, "we’re coming back with things like this, and we’re rebranding it.  It’s no longer the Rust Belt. It’s the tech belt.” The naming of Youngstown as the inaugural manufacturing institute includes $30 million in federal seed money.  Other NAMII members pooled another $40 million to get it underway.  The goal of President Obama’s $1 billion package sent to Congress is to create similar centers across the country and through research and innovation, perhaps, rebuild U.S. manufacturing.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Support for Exploradio
provided by:








Stories with Recent Comments

Will Ohio's marijuana initiative follow casinos' lead?
We just ask to have marijuana legalized and here comes some nimrod trying to rob us of our rights and make us buy it from some legalized new type DRUG DEALER th...

Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
Grandma of Chris Miller moved to Florida in a retirement community but I sure miss the Falls and the Blue Door, and the fine service and the true friendship of ...

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

A guide for gift-shopping for older Ohians
I'll never be to old for peanut brittle.

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University