UTEP, Aconity3D Partner for 3D Printing Operations

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EL PASO, Texas, Sept. 28, 2018 — The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) will serve as the North American base of operations for Aconity3D, a producer of 3D printing equipment, under a new agreement announced by the two organizations.

Aconity3D, based in Herzogenrath, Germany, develops laser-based 3D printing machines for fabrication of complex metal parts for use in airplanes, automobiles, medical implants, and more. Aconity3D leaders say they were drawn to UTEP because of the prominence, expertise, and facilities offered by the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation. In 2000, the Keck Center and UTEP’s College of Engineering made strategic investments in additive manufacturing technologies to assist manufacturers in prototyping parts before investing in costly manufacturing tools needed for production.

“We have long worked on leveraging our expertise in 3D printing to build a new economy in El Paso around additive manufacturing,” said Ryan Wicker, founder of the Keck Center. “Our partnership with Aconity3D is a major milestone in that direction and is validation of all of our combined efforts. The only way a company like Aconity3D would decide to come here is because of our technical strength in additive manufacturing, access to our graduating talent to meet their workforce needs, and the tremendous opportunities available for commercial success through collaborations with UTEP. We can apply this economic development model to build other businesses around their technologies, recruit other 3D printing businesses to our region, and create new businesses from our own 3D printing technologies coming out of UTEP.”

UTEP’s agreement with Aconity3D promises to further enhance its production and service operations, attract high-end jobs for engineering students in the community, and advance the broader technology through meaningful research investigations involving UTEP, Aconity3D, government agencies, and industry.

“We are pleased to establish a relationship with UTEP,” said Yves Hagedorn, managing director of Aconity3D. “This is an excellent example of how research universities can partner with private industry to advance the educational opportunities afforded to students and also attract economic development to the region. We are confident that the combined expertise of the Keck Center and Aconity3D will yield innovative approaches to 3D printing and offer world-class research opportunities for students.”

The partnership's long-term goal is to develop a technical center and research space in Keck Center facilities, which will operate in tandem with Aconity3D's German headquarters to sell and service its 3D printers for North America. In Germany, Aconity3D has grown from a startup established in 2014 to a company with 50 employees.

“This exciting collaboration is very well aligned with UTEP’s access and excellence mission,” said Diana Natalicio, president of UTEP. “This agreement with Aconity3D will enhance UTEP’s research environment, broaden the range of experiences available to our students in the Keck Center for 3D Innovation, and attract new business development that will enable UTEP graduates to remain in this region to pursue their career goals.”

Published: September 2018
additive manufacturing
Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is a manufacturing process that involves creating three-dimensional objects by adding material layer by layer. This is in contrast to traditional manufacturing methods, which often involve subtracting or forming materials to achieve the desired shape. In additive manufacturing, a digital model of the object is created using computer-aided design (CAD) software, and this digital model is then sliced into thin cross-sectional layers. The...
3d printing
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), is a manufacturing process that builds three-dimensional objects layer by layer from a digital model. This technology allows the creation of complex and customized structures that would be challenging or impossible with traditional manufacturing methods. The process typically involves the following key steps: Digital design: A three-dimensional digital model of the object is created using computer-aided design (CAD) software. This...
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