Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a quickly emerging area of technology which offers tremendous benefits in business value, technical advantages and even social gains.
NRC-IRAP has developed an agreement with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) to assist IRAP clients in determining the feasibility of using metal additive manufacturing processes for their own applications. Last year this initiative engaged 56 companies from all regions of Canada and 28 of them successfully manufactured 3d printed metal prototype parts.
This year we plan on engaging at least 40 companies to identify potential applications for additive manufacturing as well as provide material specifications or samples. The goal is to manufacture test coupons or sample parts and determine technical and business feasibility for each individual case. The approximate value of the service provided for each company is $6,000. The technical work may be completed by the contractor of the CME and the firm’s choice. The following are some of the proven contractors: NRC London and Boucherville, Mohawk College, CEGAP Trois Rivieres, NAIT, CRIQ, Precision ADM, Renishaw Canada.
In addition, this year we plan to identify and engage the minimum of 10 small to medium firms in projects with multi-national enterprises and their suppliers to help create sustainable additive manufacturing supply chain for the Canadian aerospace, automotive and oil & gas sectors. Approximate value for each firm is $10,000 per project.
The program is available until February 28, 2017 and will be available on the `first-come-first-served` basis. Interested companies need to be IRAP eligible and referred by an IRAP Advisor. CME will manage each case and prepare the individual report that will address the technical and business feasibility. The report will help your company decide on future planning of R&D activities. There is no cost to the company.
The advantages of metal additive manufacturing/3D printing are extreme design flexibility, ability to manufacture hollow shapes, ability to have multi-material multilayered structures, ability to make one-of parts without any additional tooling and much more. One of the most promising applications has been manufacturing of custom fixtures and tooling for various manufacturing processes. To learn more about it, check out Canada Makes Metal AM Process Guide, an interactive tool to help companies understand Metal AM: http://canadamakes.ca/app/