Penn State’s Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) is a world-class resource and leader in additive manufacturing (AM) technology. “Very few places have the depth and broad range of capacity that we have here at Penn State. No one in the United States is close to our range of abilities,” explains Rick Matukanitz, Director of the CIMP. “We have a suite of machines that few others have in this extremely competitive arena.”
CIMP-3D is operated under the Center’s three co-directors, Dr. Richard Martukanitz, Dr. Timothy Simpson, and Dr. Gary Messing. Functioning through research support from the federal and state government, as well as the private sector, CIMP-3D serves as the Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Facility under the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Open Manufacturing Program, and is the Metals Node of America Makes, formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
CIMP-3D possesses extensive modeling, simulation, and analysis capabilities involving all aspects of the additive manufacturing (AM) process. An important aspect of these capabilities is the Center Associates having very unique expertise that collectively represent world-class competence in modeling and simulation. These capabilities are being utilized to develop an integrated, comprehensive, physics-based approach to describe and link important relationships in additive manufacturing. Practical ramifications of this effort include the ability to optimize designs based on process, performance, and economic considerations, advance process control techniques for improved reliability, and influence resultant properties and characteristics for producing components and structures used for demanding applications.
Located in Innovation Park, CIMP-3D is able to tap into scientific and engineering expertise unparalleled to the rest of the world. The advancement of technology with the Center is accomplished through a multidisciplinary research group encompassing Penn State faculty, as well as industry leaders representing their partners: Battelle Memorial Institute and 3D Systems. According to Simpson, “CIMP-3D is utilizing the broad resources of the University, from basic research capabilities all the way through commercial transition. We've been doing applied research for many years.”
CIMP-3D is an integral component of the University’s educational activities in AM, with faculty members of the Center representing the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, and Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering departments. This allows for cross-disciplinary education and training of undergraduate and graduate students. Both Martukanitz and Simpson agree that their location in Innovation Park enables the Center to continue moving forward as the world-wide leader in additive materials. “We do conferences here at the Penn Stater, attracting 400-500 business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the country. It’s a huge plus to have that facility in walking distance. Plus, Innovation Park is where you meet entrepreneurs and startups. It leads us to opportunities that we can’t get anywhere else."