The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) announced the expansion of an existing agreement with America Makes to increase its role in the collection of performance data for the 3D printing industry. UTEP, which became the first America Makes Satellite Center in 2015, says the updated partnership will not only benefit the AM industry but will offer greater advantages to its students.
Through the new agreement, UTEP will offer additional services to America Makes member institutions through its Keck Center facility, increasing its national impact. Further, the agreement aims to address the growing need within the AM industry for access to critical performance data from 3D printed components.
“We are excited to announce this expanded collaboration with America Makes,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio. “This is a significant step in the effort to generate data that can be used to move the additive manufacturing industry forward. It is also a validation of UTEP, through the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation, as a national leader in additive manufacturing. We look forward to addressing the needs of America Makes while offering our students opportunities to participate in groundbreaking work in a thriving technology industry.”
As the leading public-private organization dedicated to additive manufacturing in the United States, America Makes aims to bolster and support the AM industry through a variety of initiatives and strategic partnerships. Its ongoing collaboration with UTEP has been an important part of the America Makes agenda.
Rob Gorham, America Makes executive director, elaborated: “Today’s announcement of our newly updated agreement with UTEP further underscores our dedication to our industry and demonstrates the ongoing success of our collaboration with UTEP and the Keck Center. The goal of the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to expand our current Satellite Center relationship by incorporating services that will provide tremendous strategic value and competitive advantage to the America Makes membership community.”
UTEP for its part is seeing the benefits of its America Makes partnership through its students, who are gaining expertise in additive manufacturing technologies and who will undoubtedly play a critical role in the industry moving forward. Consequently, El Paso is growing as a technological hub specializing in 3D printing. “UTEP is playing a leading role in economic development by connecting our talented workforce to job opportunities here in our region,” commented U.S. Rep.elect Veronica Escobar.
The renewed partnership agreement also enables America Makes members who use services at the Keck Center to apply the costs of the services towards membership fees.
“It’s an arrangement that benefits all parties,” said Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., founder and director of the Keck Center. “Through this initiative, America Makes members will be able to utilize our state-of-the-art equipment and generate significant data that can in turn assist our industry in determining how best to use 3D printing for designing and producing next generation products.
“We will be working with 3D printing equipment manufacturers and materials suppliers to maintain a high level of technological advancement at the Keck Center. Lastly, our students will benefit from the direct work they perform and through the research avenues that companies will pursue as they learn more about their products.”
Recently, German metal 3D printing company Aconity3D expanded its North American operations with the establishment of a new base of operations at UTEP. Its position as an America Makes Satellite Center as well as a leader in AM technologies has evidently made it an appealing hub for leading AM companies from around the world.