The University of Waterloo, a “top innovation university” in Ontario, Canada, has just been given 8.9 million CAD in federal funding to develop its additive manufacturing lab. The facility will focus on improving metal 3D printing with sensors, quality assurance software, and machine intelligence.
The University of Waterloo, perhaps best known for its famous cooperative education programs, is about to receive another impressive string for its academic bow.
The university’s Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab, already backed by nearly 27 million CAD in cash and in-kind support, has just received a further 8.9 million CAD via the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The province itself has already provided 6.2 million CAD for the project.
The funding will be used to help develop the 3D printing lab into one of the 10 largest university-based additive manufacturing facilities in the world, helping Canadian companies “tap the enormous potential of AM” while also “advancing the technology itself through research.”
“Additive manufacturing is poised to fundamentally change the way things are made,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor at Waterloo. “Fueled by a culture of innovation and backed by broad expertise in the advanced manufacturing sector, we look forward to playing a key role with our partners in unlocking the potential of this exciting technology.”
FedDev Ontario says the funding shows that the government of Canada is committed to supporting innovation and competitiveness. The investment is the largest ever made in 3D printing at a Canadian university.
The Waterloo AM lab is focused on the development of next-generation 3D printing technology that can process metals. Researchers at the lab are exploring the use of new sensors, quality assurance software, and machine intelligence, all of which can improve metal additive manufacturing. The lab has even made some impressive breakthroughs already, having patented a process for embedding 3D printed sensors into metal parts.
Lab experts will work with local and national businesses to help them make use of additive manufacturing technology.
“Canadian manufacturers now have a research hub to help them adopt end-to-end process innovation on their shop floors,” commented Pearl Sullivan, dean of engineering at Waterloo.
Research at the expanding Canadian 3D printing facility will involve at least 14 professors, as well as “dozens” of engineers, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and co-op students.
When fully equipped, the Waterloo Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab will be one of the 10 largest university-based 3D printing facilities in the world. It will also collaborate with other laboratories from around the world, including facilities in Germany, the United States, England, and Singapore.
The 3D printing facility’s impressive roster of equipment includes an EOS M290 powder bed fusion 3D printer, a Renishaw AM400 powder bed fusion 3D printer, a Stratasys J750 polyjet color 3D printer, and many other machines—including ones developed by researchers in the lab.



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