A 3D printer creates a small airplane. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Clark State to shows businesses how they can use 3D printing

Clark State Community College and several partners will host a conference next week to show area firms how additive manufacturing can improve their business and profitability.

The conference, scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 24, will focus on trends and best practices in the technology. It will include a panel discussion and a keynote address from Greg Morris, additive technologies leader for GE. Also known as 3D printing, additive manufacturing uses 3D images to build a product or material by layering various materials.

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Fastlane, a division of the University of Dayton Research Institute, has been involved in the industry for several years, said Phil Raterman, director of Fastlane.

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Businesses that attend will learn how the technology can benefit their operations, Raterman said. The conference will also show how area companies are using the technology. And there will be a discussion on how the technology is evolving.

“The beauty of additive when it comes to production parts is high complexity, low volume,” Raterman said. “That’s when additive manufacturing really shines.”

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Fastlane has some state funding which the organization can use to assist local businesses who will benefit from printing a specific part. The funding can cover a portion of the costs to print the part, for example. Fastlane can also provide advice on materials available for printing, and connect businesses with subject matter experts to provide expertise.

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Clark State is hosting the conference because manufacturing is critical to the region’s economy, said Toni Overholser, director of workforce and business solutions at Clark State.

“We want to be sure we’re training the workforce that’s needed in the region,” she said. “And we want to be a resource for businesses as far as the latest technologies are concerned. We want to be a good partner for the business community.”

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