The University of Northern Iowa Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC) received the first of three automated robotic machining cells last month, which will make the center the only university-based automated investment casting facility in the world.
“The automation applications into the metal casting industry will help elevate the skill sets of the workforce while removing workers from environmentally and physically challenging or dangerous applications,” said Travis Frush, operations manager at the AMC. “Operators will use robots to support the menial and basic material handling requirements of the casting process.”
The expansion brings together cutting edge additive manufacturing technology with automated computer-controlled processing that will enable faster casting production than ever before. The cells will create a fully automated investment casting molding line integrated with the existing pattern printing technologies.
UNI’s AMC is a world-class 3D printing and high-tech casting center employing UNI students to help keep Iowa’s industry supply chain at the cutting edge. Fueled by demand from Iowa’s small businesses, the AMC has seen explosive growth since it was launched, doubling in size three times as it helps keep the state’s manufacturers competitive.