NextManufacturing Center

Defining the future of advanced manufacturing research


NextManufacturing Center

Source: Carnegie Mellon University

The NextManufacturing Center is one of the world’s leading research centers for additive manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3-D printing. The center leverages knowledge from across disciplines to develop an entirely new approach to AM: design optimization, materials selection and characterization, process parameter mapping, software development, final part inspection, and qualification. The center is developing tools for AM which impact a wide range of other advanced manufacturing processes. Making use of the innovative maker facilities of the college, the NextManufacturing Center will also educate and train the next generation of AM experts through creative, hands-on problem-solving.

Innovating metals additive manufacturing


The NextManufacturing Center researches current AM processes, but also looks ahead to where additive processing will be in the future. In roughly five years, the NextManufacturing Center expects metals AM users to be able to:

  1. Design the process as they design the geometry of the part
  2. Monitor and control the AM process
  3. Vary material microstructure and properties within a single AM part
  4. Use a wide variety of metal powders
  5. Eliminate or design for internal porosity
  6. Apply machine vision, machine learning and other computational tools across AM
  7. Develop new alloys specifically designed for AM

NextManufacturing research will help enable these advances, which will significantly increase build rate and reduce cost, improve properties such as fatigue resistance, allow for customization of the entire process, and, ultimately, increase the widespread adoption of AM.

Three 3-D printed metal samples

Source: Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering