State Grant to Support 3D Printing

Youngstown State University and the Youngstown Business Incubator acquired a $500,000 grant last week to continue their work in the 3D printing industry — an indicator that collaboration between YSU and YBI remains successful.

“This grant continues to validate the collaborative relationship that we’ve built with YBI in the area of additive manufacturing and continues to demonstrate that the State recognizes that this YBI-YSU team has established really a leadership position in developing and implementing these technologies for the benefit of the manufacturing community,” said Martin Abraham, dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Though YSU has maintained a relationship with YBI for more than seven years, this relationship has strengthened since YBI became the landlord for America Makes — an additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, research center that closely works with YSU.

The $500,000 grant was awarded last week by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission — a technology-based economic development initiative that provides funding to industries that create technology based products and jobs.

YSU and YBI will use the grant money to help educate companies, accelerating their implementation of 3D printing methods.

“We are going to be establishing what we call the Precision Parts Printing Network which will allow us to…help educate businesses and work with them to try and evaluate how additive manufacturing can be used in order to support their needs,” Abraham said. “[This network will] promote the growth of the business community, the manufacturing community, here in the region.”

Guha Manogharan, a professor in the mechanical and industrial engineering department, echoed Abraham’s sentiment.

“This is a major step in YSU’s additive manufacturing initiative because adding this network will enable us to reach companies who can benefit from this significantly,” he said.

Grant money will not just benefit area companies, though. YSU students will also be on the receiving end of the state’s award.

“Our students will be equipped with knowledge of additive manufacturing when they graduate,” Manogharan said. “Part of the funds from this grant will be used for both undergraduate as well as graduate student projects. And, I foresee some of the elements of this project being part of my lab that I teach in both the fall and the spring. So this will be a great opportunity for students.”