America Makes technical review (TRX) meetings offer academic researchers valuable insight into the real-world challenges and critical research needs of additive technologies.
The University of Louisville (UofL) is a state-supported research university located in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area. The 287-acre Belknap Campus is three miles from downtown Louisville and houses seven of the university’s 12 colleges and schools. The Health Sciences Center is situated in downtown Louisville’s medical complex and houses the university’s health related programs and the University of Louisville Hospital.
Initiatives in Additive Manufacturing
With over 10 affiliated faculty members from Engineering, Medicine and Dentistry, the Additive Manufacturing Research Center (http://louisville.edu/amrc) supports and promotes the broad range of AM research and training activities. Current faculty research is funded by industry and multiple federal agencies, including DoD (Navy, Air Force and Army), NASA, DoC and NSF. Several core facilities are highlighted below.
Established in 1993 the Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC) consortium provides companies access to state-of-the-art capabilities in additive manufacturing. With emphasis on laser and e-beam powder bed processes for metals, plastics and ceramics, the RPC combines the expertise of its professional staff with strategic partnerships in additive technologies.
As a part of NSF’s National Nanotechnology Coordinating Infrastructure (NNCI), the Kentucky Multi-scale Manufacturing and Nano Integration Node focuses on integrating manufacturing technology over widely different length scales – combining micro/nano fabrication processes with 3D additive manufacturing.
On the healthcare side, the School of Dentistry is a national leader in digital dentistry including image capture, computer simulation and design, and fabrication of medical and dental devices using AM and Milling technologies. Further, the Bioficial Organs Program in the School of Medicine aims to create human tissues and organs for clinical therapeutics and in-vitro drug testing utilizing 3D bioprinting technologies.
For workforce development, the Additive Manufacturing Competency Center offers hands-on professional training in AM technologies. An ongoing course in metal selective laser melting (SLM) is offered in partnership with UL LLC. Future courses are planned for metal AM safety, AM for dentistry and design for AM. UofL is also a partner in the NSF-funded AM-WATCH program at Tennessee Tech. This program aims to address gaps in the current knowledge base of technicians and engineers through the development of curriculum and educational materials and delivery of professional development activities.