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Mohawk College is set to open the doors and welcome industry partners to a new centre for additive manufacturing in the heartland of Canadian manufacturing

Mohawk’s $1.8 million Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre in Hamilton, Ontario will serve as a test lab for advanced manufacturing companies and a one-of-a-kind living lab for students from Mohawk’s Faculty of Engineering Technology. Construction of the centre was made possible by grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund.

Scheduled to open in June at Mohawk’s Fennell Campus in Hamilton, the centre will print 3D models, prototypes, tooling and production parts out of titanium, aluminum, nickel, stainless steel, bronze and other metals. Manufacturers will use a direct metal laser sintering printer to test variations in a part’s shape, weight, thickness, density and use different grades of metal powder alloy. Plastic 3D printers at the centre will allow industry partners to create preliminary designs before commissioning metal parts.

Mohawk is opening the centre for two reasons, says Tony Thoma, Dean of Engineering Technology and a licensed professional engineer in Ontario with more than 25 years experience in manufacturing.

“We’ve been approached by a growing number of our industry partners wanting to collaborate on additive manufacturing projects. In Canada, there are only a handful of companies with additive manufacturing machines capable of producing high quality metal parts. Given competitive pressures, there’s an urgent need to increase capacity for additive manufacturing production in Canada. Mohawk will help meet that need and remove a barrier to innovation for Canadian manufacturers by making our centre available to our industry partners.”

Partners will gain more than access to leading edge technology. They’ll also work alongside the next generation of parts designers, technicians and technologists.  “Learning by doing is in our DNA at Mohawk College,” says Thoma. More than 3,500 students are enrolled in Mohawk’s Faculty of Engineering Technology.  Mohawk and McMaster University also offer award-winning Bachelor of Technology programs that are the first of its kind in Canada.

“Our new centre will give our students an incredible opportunity to work with our industry partners, use leading-edge technology and build on the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in our programs. It’s also a great opportunity for employers to hire our future ready graduates before they hit the job market.”

Mohawk’s Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre will focus on four categories of projects with industry partners:

  • Testing the feasibility of producing existing products with existing designs using additive manufacturing technology in place of conventional processes

  • Optimizing existing product designs to improve functionality and quality while reducing costs.

  • Designing and developing new products using additive manufacturing technology that could not be manufactured using conventional processes

  • Developing and testing new materials to manufacture products using additive manufacturing

The Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre is one of three centres of excellence supporting applied research at Mohawk College.  At the award-winning Mohawk eHealth Development and Innovation Centre, students and faculty work with industry and government partners on electronic and mobile health solutions.  Students, faculty and industry partners at the Mohawk Energy Research Centre are working on a series of projects, including power quality, distributed generation and smart grids.

“We’ve earned an international reputation for successfully working with industry partners to enhance competitiveness and productivity and bring innovative solutions to market,” says Thoma.  During the past three years, more than 700 students have worked with industry partners on over 70 applied research projects and attracted more than $7 million in government funding.

The new centres are part of the largest campus renewal project in Mohawk’s history. To date, more than $80 million has been invested by the public and private sectors, foundations and donors.  A new Engineering Technology building is the next priority in Mohawk’s campus renewal project.

For more on Mohawk’s new Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre, contact Tony Thoma, Dean of Engineering Technology, at tony.thoma@mohawkcollege.ca or call 905.575.2417 .

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