Canada’s largest metal additive manufacturing facility opens in Kitchener

By Justine Fraser

One of the most comprehensive metal additive manufacturing facilities in the world and the largest in Canada opened its doors in Kitchener on Friday.

What started as a small, hidden room on the University of Waterloo campus, has now moved into a 15,000-square-foot facility with $25 million worth of state-of-the-art equipment. The new facility will aim to serve as a hub for future metals research as well as be a central location for advanced 3D printers and characterization devices.

Students from the University of Waterloo were there for the event Friday morning, eager to show off some of the new machines they have been learning to use.

The Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing laboratory, also known as the MSAM lab, will give PhD students like Ali Mohammad-Mejad, a chance to use more advanced 3D printing machines and learn from cutting-edge technology.

“So much of the equipment we have now, we didn’t have space for in the previous facility, so here we have all this equipment all together so we don’t have to relocate from one building to another, so we can do the tests back-to-back,” said Mohammad-Mejad.

Located at the Catalyst137 facility in Kitchener, the MSAM lab aims to grow collaboration with other tenants inside the building, also known as the world’s largest dedicated Internet-of-Things manufacturing space.

The founder of the MSAM lab, Dr. Ehsan Toyserkani, is a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor at the University of Waterloo.

Toyserkani hopes the new facility will support more local companies to move forward with more innovation.

“With the current geo-political issues and shortage of supply chains, 3D printing technology will be able to help a lot in minimizing steps in supply chains. We will be able to rely on local manufacturing rather than other countries to make some components,” said Toyserkani.

“This is the largest academic facility on metal additive manufacturing in Canada and one of the top 5 in the world,” Toyserkani added.

Since its launch in 2017, the MSAM lab’s focus has been on developing intellectual property and training students on new technology to advance scientific discoveries.

The metal additive manufacturing facility provides a more efficient and sustainable way to prototype and manufacture a range of products across select sectors that include aerospace, healthcare, and automotive.

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