Alcoa to increase 3D printing operations

alcoa-3d-printingAlcoa plants to expand metals research centre near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, to accelerate the development of advanced 3D-printing materials and processes.

The $60m expansion at the Alcoa Technical Center will create an additive manufacturing centre that will focus on feedstock materials, processes, product design and qualification. The company will produce materials, including aluminium, titanium and nickel powders for complex 3D-printed parts to serve aerospace, automotive, medical, and building and construction industries.

Alcoa chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said: “Combining our expertise in metal alloys, manufacturing, design and product qualification, we will push beyond the limits of today’s additive manufacturing. This investment strengthens our leadership position in meeting fast-growing demand for aerospace components made using additive technologies.

The expansion is planned for completion during the first quarter of 2016. It will support the region with around 45 temporary jobs during construction phase, and more than 100 jobs by 2017.

Alcoa will receive financial support and tax abatements of around $10m from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Westmoreland County, Upper Burrell Township, and Burrell School District for the project.

The company already has additive manufacturing operations in California, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas. Alcoa has launched its Ampliforge process that combines advanced materials, designs, and additive and traditional manufacturing processes. Using the technology, the company designs and 3D-prints a near complete part and treats it using a traditional manufacturing process such as forging.

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