Grant helps NIU develop manufacturing tools

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University will receive $2.4 million from the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop tools for process control and qualifying parts made with layer-by-layer 3D printing or additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing uses digital models to produce complex customized parts on-demand with less material waste than machining from a solid block. However, the tools to assure consistently uniform properties are yet to be developed.

NIU has pooled the talent and resources of Northwestern University, Quad City Manufacturing Lab, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International and ASM International to improve the process control and quality assurance of additive manufacturing.

Physics-based models will offer leadership in 3D printing across multiple industries. Next generation and incumbent engineers, equipment operators, and managers will receive continuous access to education, information, and outreach, accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing and strengthening the domestic economy.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology.

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