Rochester Institute of Technology’s AMPrint Center received the first liquid metal 3-D printer from Buffalo-based Vader Systems LLC last month.
RIT and Vader Systems have a university-corporate partnership at the RIT’s AMPrint Center to help grow 3-D printing and additive manufacturing in New York, officials said.
“It is our job to try to help companies like Vader be successful, and I think they’ve got a phenomenal new technology that’s completely different than any other process out there,” said Denis Cormier, director of AMPrint, in a statement.
Vader Systems’ Mk1 is a molten-metal, drop-on-demand printer used to create 3-D-printed objects made of an aluminum alloy, the company said.
“It’s an honor to have our Mk1, serial 00001, installed at the new AMPrint Center, the top university lab for additive manufacturing in the region,” said Scott Vader, president and co-founder of Vader Systems. “We look forward to working with Dr. Cormier and his elite team of students to create a new generation of advanced materials and products across all manufacturing sectors.”
Vader and his son, Zachary, developed the technology.
The RIT and Vader teams arranged a machine modification that allows the system to integrate slightly larger wire—wire that is approximately one-quarter of the cost of wire being used previously—which resulted in a 75 percent reduction in raw material cost, officials said.
“We are very excited to see what the AMPrint Center’s expertise in lattice structures, high-strength aluminum alloys and printed circuitry will produce once let loose with the technology,” Vader said. “On the Vader side, there will be continuing opportunities for ongoing R&D projects, internships and hiring of RIT graduates as a result of this ongoing collaboration.”
The AMPrint Center opened last October.
“Partnerships between businesses and academia, like RIT’s acquisition of the Vader Systems liquid metal 3-D printing system, solidify the Finger Lakes region as a core for advanced manufacturing and imaging technology,” said Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development president, CEO and commissioner.
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