Auburn University is establishing a new Center for Industrialized Additive Manufacturing. The University will further the links to 3D printing in Alabama with General Electric already operating a facility in Auburn. The University has been given a three-year grant of $1.5 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and believe this will enable them to further their leading research into the growing field of 3D printing.
Tony Overfelt will be the center’s inaugural director as the William and Elizabeth Reed Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University and he believes that this news means additive manufacturing will continue to be a focus point of Alabama. Overfelt stated that, “Alabama has more installed additive manufacturing capacity than any other state and most countries.” Furthermore, it appears Overfelt has ambitions of making Alabama, and perhaps more specifically Auburn, a global hub for additive manufacturing. This shows as he says “one of our long-term goals is to make the state of Alabama the go-to place for additive manufacturing.” Overfelt believes additive manufacturing is important to the future of manufacturing and suggests that by giving students the opportunity to explore this new field in greater detail can only be beneficial for their future.