Additive manufacturing is capable of producing higher-strength and more energy-efficient materials while reducing the actual amount of materials needed, wear and tear on parts and use of natural resources. At UNT, researchers are exploring the possibilities of additive manufacturing using the newly established and highly advanced Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (AML), which opened its doors in November. The lab, the brainchild of Narendra Dahotre, UNT's interim vice president for research and innovation, is located adjacent to the Materials Research Facility in UNT's Discovery Park, the North Texas region's largest research park.
"The two distinct laser-based additive manufacturing systems at UNT's AML allow for a range of activities including fundamental research in manufacturing science and applied research and development in manufacturing engineering," Dahotre says. "Additive manufacturing has broad impacts on our society and the potential to transform a wide variety of industries -- from the oil fields to operating rooms."
UNT is one of the few universities in the nation with this configuration across fields to better advance the science and application of additive manufacturing. The lab is one of the key assets being leveraged in UNT's new Center for Agile and Adaptive Additive Manufacturing (CAAAM), which is being established to move Texas further along in advancing additive manufacturing technologies and meeting the growing demands for additive manufacturing of high-performance and functionally efficient advanced materials.
"By providing students and researchers with tools needed in not just additive manufacturing but materials science and general engineering, UNT is creating the next generation of investigators who will help bring about the next stage in the industrial revolution," says Rajarshi Banerjee, Regents Professor and director of UNT's Materials Research Facility.