What is 50 foot high and weighs six tons? A 3 dimensional printer on a crane. Recently, the Department of Technology lifted the Metal Casting Center’s new 3D printer to the third floor of the Cedar Valley TechWorks facility.

The Metal Casting Center was recently funded $1.2 million from the state of Iowa to create a new Center for Additive Manufacturing in Metal Casting. The purpose of the center will be to assist manufacturers to adopt new technologies to improve their competitive position in the industry. The center will research new applications for three-dimensional printing along with the development of new materials. The printer is the largest in North America and has the capability of producing a solid part with a volume of over 13 cubic feet. The printer will be used to strengthen Iowa’s industrial base by bringing advanced manufacturing technology to TechWorks and the state through service to the castings industry under the name of Rapid Casting Technologies. The Metal Casting Center, which is part of the Department of Technology at UNI, will also conduct research in alternate materials to advance the 3D printing process and work with regional companies to evaluate the benefits of the technology. The new center will be operated as an extension of the Metal Casting Center under the management of its director Jerry Thiel. The unit is expected to be in operation in a few short weeks. Additional information on the industrial services are available by calling Jerry Thiel at 319-273-6894.