UNB Launches Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence

Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi, director of the Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence and master’s student Carter Baxter examine a 3D printed metal component. Image: Rob Blanchard Photo UNB

FREDERICTON– On Tuesday the University of New Brunswick launched Canada’s first research centre for 3D metal printing for the marine and defence industries.

The  Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence  will combine research, commercialization and workforce development and training.  This centre is the result of a partnership between the University of New Brunswick, Custom Fabricators and Machinists (CFM), and community colleges in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The centre will be the first in Canada to use 3D metal printing for manufacturing certified, custom parts for the marine sector. Its mission is to ensure the adoption of this technology in the marine sector by developing new methods, procedures, and effective training programs.

Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi, director of the Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence and assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UNB, will lead the research and development component of the centre, with CFM partnering on commercialization. The New Brunswick Community College, Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick and the Nova Scotia Community College will lead workforce development and training.

“We’re seeing more and more people show interest in coming to New Brunswick to be part of what we’re doing.  This is the first centre of its kind in Canada and we are doing it right here in New Brunswick,” said Mohammadi. “Our technology is greener and more efficient than conventional methods and will create high value jobs here in Atlantic Canada.”

The multi-million-dollar centre is currently funded by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ $2.7-million contribution is a part of its industrial and regional benefits obligation to the federal government for its contract for the CP-140 Aurora Structural Life Extension Project.

“We are very pleased to see our Industrial Technology Benefit supporting the creation of the University of New Brunswick’s Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence. Innovations such as 3D metal printing are the way of the future and Lockheed Martin is always looking at methods to increase our efficiency and effectiveness in the field of advanced manufacturing,” said Charles Bouchard, CEO of Lockheed Martin Canada, in a release.

Irving Shipbuilding’s $750,000 investment is a part of its Value Proposition commitments under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).

“As the commercialization partner, CFM is pleased to be hosting the 3D printing equipment at our facility, and we look forward to working with the community colleges to provide a hands-on classroom to train the next generation of skilled machinists and fabricators,” said David Saucy, vice-president construction and equipment division of J.D. Irving, Limited, in a release.

“We also look forward to working closely with Dr. Mohammadi and his team as we integrate this new technology into our existing global customer base as well as developing new markets in the growing marine manufacturing sector.”

The university says nearly $5-million centre is expected to triple its funding in the coming year with other partners coming on board.