A remarkable facility tied to the Oregon Institute of Technology
, the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center R&D
(OMIC) is a research institute that works with universities, companies, vendors and researchers on metal 3D printing research. Located in Scappoose, Oregon, OMIC collaborates with such companies as Zeiss, Mastercam, Boeing, Daimler, Doosan, Sandvik and Mahr to further metal printing across their toolchains.
Now, OMIC has inaugurated a newly expanded facility. The 30,000-square-foot Additive Innovation Center unites the major metal 3D printing technologies in a single facility, along with extensive characterization and testing equipment. The site will be able to cater to new space, defense, aviation, medical, and industrial clients and projects.
The place is a veritable candy store, with Renishaw AM500S, Gefertec ARC605, and ExOne 25Pro machines in house. The facility also has an Elnik 3025T sinter furnace, ATOS 5, Zoller Toolroom, Wenzel CMM, various Zeiss tools, and a Quintis QIH48 HIP
. The HIP machine is remarkable, as it is the largest one in the U.S. and would typically be too expensive and large for typical researchers. However, OMIC is very much invested in the whole toolchain, so for them it makes sense. The Gefertec ARC605
was also one of the first of these systems sold. Wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) is not as widely researched at powder bed fusion, but for OMIC, it totally makes sense to look at ironing out the kinks in WAAM to make large, low-cost parts for its defense and transportation members.
OMIC does some truly groundbreaking work but is member-funded, so it is a marriage of blue ocean with very practical advances for industry. OMIC´s Business Development Manager Joshua Koch told 3DPrint.com:
¨The AM industry is in such flux right now with new materials, new technologies, and new ways of thinking about AM always surfacing. Innovative efforts from companies like Impossible Objects, DMG, EOS, SPEE3D, MELD, Fabrisonic, and more will continue to change the landscape of industrial AM. A center like the Additive Innovation Center at OMIC R&D, that can demonstrate all 7 ASTM recognized industrial additive technologies, help democratize that technology and then de-risk the investment for companies is of vital need for the continued growth of regional and national manufacturing. This Additive Innovation Center is by no means complete, technologies will evolve and so will we. New machines and new technologies will constantly be added to the facility as OMIC R&D grows its abilities, footprint and researcher base in order for us to continue solving industries’ challenges.¨
There are a lot of academic researchers in 3D printing, but there are few centers such as OMIC, which helps bridge the gap between the possible and the probable. Far from ivory towers, people on concrete floors wish to make 10,000 of something well. To go from paper to manufactured item is a tortuous path in 3D printing for many. OMIC helps companies, researchers and government get ideas made well and this is something that will benefit us all.
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