Weber State University is using 3D printing to advance its research on composite materials that support northern Utah’s aerospace and defence ecosystem.
The university’s Miller Advanced Research and Solutions Center recently upgraded and installed the Impossible Objects Composite-Based Additive Manufacturing system (CBAM-2).
The CBAM-2 prints composite materials that can then be used to design parts for a range of high-tech applications. Located near Hill Air Force Base, Utah, the MARS Center brings together students and faculty of Weber State with industry experts who apply ‘innovative’ solutions to real-world problems, particularly in the realm of national defence.
“Composite materials are of high interest to the military, and the ability to 3D print those parts on demand with CBAM gives us an advantage to participate in more projects and recruit the best talent,” David Ferro, dean of WSU’s College of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology.
According to Ferro, Weber State has a long history with Impossible Objects and believes the new system will be a valuable tool in aerospace research among academia, defence and commercial partners.
Devin Young, grant writing and research specialist at WSU, working at the MARS Center said: “We’ve used this technology to print parts for legacy aircraft, ageing jets that need replacement parts or tools that aren’t in production anymore. CBAM makes parts that are lighter and stronger than some of the other methods out there, and does it faster.”
Recent examples of 3D printed parts printed through Impossible Objects includes a strap to keep first-aid kits secure inside aircraft being flown by the U.S. Air Force. According to Steve Hoover, Impossible Objects CEO the CBAM system is a ‘cutting-edge’ alternative for aluminium prototyping, tooling, spares and repairs.
Hoover said: “The MARS Center is at the forefront of aerospace and defence research. We’re proud that they’ve selected CBAM technology, and have already engaged in several projects that have exciting potential for the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and other industrial partners.”
The MARS Center opened in August 2022 after a 3.5 million USD donation from the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation. The CBAM 3D Printer from Impossible Objects is among the first advanced manufacturing technologies to be installed and used at the new facility.
In May 2022, Impossible Objects was announced as a partner of Dyndrite, alongside Meteor Inkjet and Azul3D.