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Engineering Receives $50,000 Grant For State-of the-Art Printer

Published: October 17, 2011

The College of Engineering at CSULB has received a $50,000 grant from the DENSO North American Foundation to acquire Objet 30, a multi-functional and multi-material desktop 3-D printer. The laboratory addition will allow students and faculty to print out the objects they design rather than just pictures on paper.

The Additive-Manufacturing technology system will be the latest expansion of CSULB’s Automotive, Research, Development and Education Laboratory, which specifically targets the areas of flexible manufacturing systems, computer-aided design and non-traditional machining. It greatly facilitates highly specialized training and research in the quickly expanding field of additive-manufacturing, the current state-of-the-art design and manufacturing technology.

While many other academic institutions have abandoned manufacturing as an area of concentration, CSULB has chosen to build upon its strong base in manufacturing processes. The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department at CSULB will use Objet 30 as part of its hands-on educational philosophy with a systems approach to addressing instruction.

“Rapid prototyping is an emerging technology of tremendous potential. By funding the MAE Department’s acquisition of this Additive-Manufacturing system, DENSO has empowered our faculty and students with the ability to engage in state-of-the-art research and development projects in this arena,” said Hamid Hefazi, associate professor and chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering at CSULB.

The system can yield parts that cannot be manufactured through traditional techniques involving machining and welding. Its printing technology results in a product-development process that is much more rapid and of far higher quality. Engineering faculty and students using it can build lighter-weight products that still retain stability and performance. The weight reduction is particularly critical because it generates significant energy savings and ease of use. This could lead to opportunities for partnerships with Southern California industries, especially in the automotive and petrochemical industries.

The DENSO North American Foundation was established in 2001 by DENSO Corporation, Kariya, Japan. The company is dedicated to economic growth and a healthier society through the development of a skilled and knowledgeable work force.

The foundation is dedicated to the advancement of higher education in engineering and related business programs through grant-making to colleges and universities throughout North America. A priority is given to programs that demonstrate technology innovation and advance automotive engineering.

–Ken Swisher