Engineers at the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) at North Carolina State University have developed a titanium football replica produced with advanced 3-D printing technology. The full-size football, bearing the NC State logo, was created in ISE’s Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics (CAMAL) by Professor Tim Horn.
The football was recently presented to NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson, in recognition of the Wolfpack’s upcoming Kay Yow Spring Football Game on April 11.
The football, which took 24 hours to create, is made of the same medical-grade titanium material used in surgical implant devices, as well as in the commemorative NC State coin printed by Professor Horn that traveled on board NASA’s recent Orion space flight. See related story: http://www.cemag.us/news/2014/06/nasas-orion-spacecraft-ready-feel-heat
According to Professor Horn, the titanium football was made on the Arcam EBM (Electron Beam Melting) machine at NC State ISE. Arcam originally patented and developed the EBM process, and NC State ISE has the distinction of purchasing the first such machine in the world.
In the EBM process, metal components are built up, layer-by-layer, using metal powder that is melted by a powerful electron beam as opposed to a laser. Each layer is melted to the exact geometry defined by a 3-D CAD model. The EBM process takes place in vacuum and at high temperature which creates parts with material properties better than cast, and comparable to wrought material.
President Obama visited NC State in early 2014 to announce that the university will lead the new Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute, in a $140 million initiative that includes a $70 million grant from the Department of Energy – the largest single grant in NC State history. See related story: http://www.cemag.us/news/2014/01/president-announces-semiconductor-hub
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