UConn opens Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center

Storrs, CT - The University of Connecticut has opened the Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center, which is a collaboration between UConn and Pratt & Whitney. It will be used to further additive manufacturing research and development and is the first such facility in the Northeast to work with metals rather than plastics.

The center will be used to train engineers and designers in the latest techniques for advanced manufacturing technology. It features 3D manufacturing equipment and rapid prototyping technologies, including two Arcam electron beam melting (EBM) A2X model machines for manufacturing large, complex metal parts at high temperatures. The A2X models are the first to be introduced in North America. The UConn center recently provided the first EBM on-site training for academic personnel and industry engineers in the US.

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Pratt & Whitney has invested $4.5 million in the Center and over the next five years will invest an additional $3.5 million. Paul Adams, Pratt & Whitney’s chief operating officer, said, “Additive manufacturing is necessary to build the next generation of jet engines. We are currently using additive manufacturing to build complex components with extreme precision for the PurePower commercial jet engine.”

The center supports President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership initiative, launched in 2011, which encourages innovative collaborations between industry, universities, and the federal government to increase the nation’s global competitiveness by improving existing manufacturing capabilities through the development of advanced materials, components, and technologies.