Manufacturing

Ohio University Innovation Center Enhances 3D Printing Lab

ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University Innovation Center and the Lights Regional Innovation Network announced it has secured new design and product development equipment for its additive manufacturing lab.

The new equipment includes 3D printers, a mill and vacuum former. The acquisition was made possible in part through an Ohio Development Services Agency Community Development Block Grant awarded by Athens County Commissioners. These machines complement the Objet350 Connex from Stratasys, a high-end 3D printer purchased by Ohio University in 2013.

“We wanted to create an environment where entrepreneurial and innovative spirits can thrive,” said Jennifer Simon, executive director of regional innovation. “The state of Ohio and the Athens County commissioners support diversifying the local economy using new ‘making’ methods.”

The new equipment will better allow the regional community and university to design prototypes and manufacture products on demand. The equipment also will expand and enhance the experiential learning opportunities of Russ College of Engineering and Technology students who work in the lab.

Additive manufacturing equipment housed at the IC is open for use to members of the Ohio University community and the general public. Users can either order professional print jobs from the IC for a fee or can learn how to use the printers and associated pieces of equipment in a guided one-on-one session for free. Completed products can be ordered at Ohio3DPrints.com.

“The county supports efforts to foster businesses and careers in manufacturing to provide our citizens with greater economic opportunities,” said Athens County Commissioner Lenny Eliason. “The Innovation Center creates companies we have supported through economic development efforts. Now, this new equipment and training allows us to support even more new businesses.”

An open house will be held at the Innovation Center, 340 W. State St., Athens at 6:30 p.m. on June 5.

For more information about the 3D printer or to schedule a project, contact Misako Hata, lab director of the Innovation Center, at 740-593-1818 or 3Dprinter@ohio.edu.

Ongoing support of the Innovation Center and Lights comes from the Ohio Third Frontier, the Appalachian Regional Commission and Ohio University.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.