Today, Saskatchewan Polytechnic unveiled new industry-leading equipment at its Saskatoon campus.
The equipment, which includes four new 3D printers, a waterjet cutter and a portable 3D scanner, is located in the school’s Research, Additive Manufacturing and Prototyping (RAMP) facility. With the addition of this technology, the RAMP facility is the most advanced 3D printer facility in Saskatchewan, with the capacity to print in almost a dozen different materials, including metal.
“Saskatchewan Polytechnic is a leader in working with industry partners to stay ahead of future trends to help retain Saskatchewan’s global economic competitiveness,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “This investment in state-of-the-art equipment is critical not only to ensuring our students have access to the equipment and skills they need in the labour market, but it also creates a critical support for small and medium-sized enterprises to access critical research innovation infrastructure.”
The RAMP facility is meeting the needs of both industry and research, by allowing Saskatchewan companies to arrange prototyping and research projects. Through this arrangement, Saskatchewan Polytechnic students are able to work with industry partners, gain valuable experience and learn to use advanced equipment, preparing them for work after completing their programs. Already, the equipment is being used for industry applied research projects.
“Saskatchewan Polytechnic appreciates Innovation Saskatchewan’s investment in the Research, Additive, Manufacturing and Prototyping Facility,” Saskatchewan Polytechnic President and CEO Dr. Larry Rosia said. “This investment will open additional applied learning opportunities for students and faculty, and will provide researchers and start-ups with access to the cutting-edge technology to prototype, test and reach quality assurance levels necessary to take their products to market.”
Creating prototypes with the new MarkForged Metal X metal 3D printer, in particular, is up to 10-times less expensive than other metal 3D printers on the market, and up to 100-times less expensive than traditional methods like casting or machining. The equipment was purchased with $600,000 from the Innovation and Science Fund from Innovation Saskatchewan, along with a matching grant from Western Economic Diversification.
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