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Driving the Additive Manufacturing Revolution

Located at The University of Texas at El Paso, the Keck Center is a unique multidisciplinary research facility focused on the use and development Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies with primary focus areas in AM Technology Development, Engineered and Structured Materials, and Advanced AM Applications.

Keck Center Brochures

 

About the Keck Center

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Expert Solutions Provider 

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Research

 

Additive Manufacturing technology allows us to take a computer-aided design (CAD) of an object and quickly crate a 3D model, mold, or functional part by precisely building layers of material. It is an exciting technology that explores new worlds of research, limited only by the imagination.


Facilities

 

The Keck Center occupies over 13,000 square feet of floor space and has more than $8 million in research infrastructure, including over 50 AM systems and combined facilities for advanced manufacturing, metrology and reverse engineering, materials characterization and testing, and synthetic and analytical chemistry.

Services

 

Our services can help you achieve your goals, providing your company with a competitive advantage through access to our vast selection of 3D printing machines and testing equipment. Fast turnaround and excellent quality of manufactured parts have always been our priority when delivering your final product.


First Satellite Center of America Makes

 

In August 2015, UTEP was selected as the first satellite center of America Makes. The goal of America Makes is to expand its current regional, industrial, and technological footprint while further maximizing the reach and capabilities of this satellite center through enhanced collaboration. A ribbon cutting ceremony hosted The Honorable Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

 

 

Transforming AM at UTEP

 

Our mission is to lead the Additive Manufacturing (AM) transformation through multidisciplinary activities that include education, research, outreach, technology development and commercialization, and industrial partnerships.

Desktop 3D Printer Database

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Engineering Entrepreneurship - Building a 3D Printing Business

Course Numbers:

Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering
MECH 4395 - undergraduate section
MECH 5390 - graduate section

About the Course:

Now in its second year, the Engineering Entrepreneuship course is taught by Dr. Ryan Wicker.  In 2020, Dr. Chris Danek from Bessel also joined the team, providing his expertise in product lifeycle.  This course covers many aspects of creating a technology based business, focused on 3D printing technology.  The course begins with a review of 3D printing, covering a wide variety of technologies and applications.  Students are introduced to many aspects of protecting intellectual property, including the patent process.  After selecting a particular technology to explore further, students develop a business concept and plan for building a business, culminating with an investor presentation.  Upon completion of the course, students can understand patents, the process for pursuing patent protection, and strategies for protection of intellectual property.  In addition, students understand the different types of businesses, the elements of business plans, and strategies for business development and raising capital to launch a start-up company. 

Bessel
Website: www.bessel.co
Email: .

Success Stories

Status Structures

Unique 3D

Timeless Memorials

Additive Library

3D-U

InMo 3D

MM3D

Printing Products for People (PPP)

Printari

Rocket Additive Manufacturing

RAD Packing Solutions

Temperature Controlled 3D

 

Keck Center Students Embark in Entrepreneurial Ventures

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PM Technologies, LLC
287 Darrington Road,
Horizon City, TX 79928
Website: www.pmtechs.com
Email: .

student 1PM Technologies was founded by Philip Morton, a Keck Center alum. Philip began his career at the Keck Center in 2013 as an Undergraduate Research Assistant.  He was promoted to a staff position in 2015 becoming the Center’s Research Manager, during which his primary focus was on electron beam and laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (LPBF AM) processes.  He co-wrote a  $450,000 grant from the U.S. Army CCDC Armaments Center through the MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium (MSRDC) for the development of structured metal matrix composites using laser powder bed fusion.  He also co-authored several publications, two current patent applications, and one awarded patent for the production of functionally graded structures in powder bed fusion AM.  Philip was key in the expansion of the Keck Center’s global additive manufacturing workforce development and training programs within the Department of Defense.  He has trained over 500 members of the armed forces as well as DoD support personnel and contractors, traveling to multiple national and international sites to deliver training. 

At the start of 2020, Philip left the Keck Center to pursue the growth of PM Technologies which he founded in 2019.  PM Technologies offers design, prototyping and manufacturing, as well as consulting services.  During COVID-19, they worked with an array of volunteers in El Paso to build and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as designed a reusable silicone face mask and setup a produce line to build ear savers to increase comfort while wearing face masks.

 

 

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Tailored Alloys
287 S. Darrington Rd
Horizon City, TX 79928
(804) 892-0359
Email: .
Website: tailoredalloys.com

 

student 2Hunter Taylor is at Ph.D. Research Assistant at the Keck, Center.  Prior to embarking on a Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Engineering, Hunter obtained a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech University in 2015.  While working on his undergraduate degree, Hunter held internships with Virginia Aero Classics LLC and with Mayville Engineering Company, Inc. (MEC).  Upon graduating, he worked as Materials Engineer with MATSYS, Inc. for almost three years.  At the Keck Center, Hunter leads the laser powder bed fusion team under Dr. Wicker, being one of the few trained operators of the AconityOne LPBF system from Aconity3D.  His research entails the development of process parameters for crack prone alloys, metal matrix composites, and part defect reduction through the use of process monitoring technology.   

In 2019, Hunter embarked on a journey to found Tailored Alloys with co-founder Lazlo Kecskes.  The company focuses on the development of new alloys to solve challenging problems as well as the production of sophisticated yet functional wedding bands.  They hope to contribute to the economic development of the historically underserved El Paso region and in 2020, and were recently awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer grant by the National Science Foundation to develop a novel high-strength, high-conductivity alloy.   

 

BUILDING EL PASO'S ECONOMY AROUND 3-D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY


Three-dimensional printing has been the topic of growing media coverage over the past several years, and a common theme is that 3-D printing will bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and help bolster our national economy.

How real is the potential of 3-D printing to change the way future products are designed and manufactured?

The truth is there is much left to do before 3-D printing has an impact on our daily lives, but what should excite El Pasoans is that UTEP is at the forefront of this work.

The potential of 3-D printing is real, the opportunities are limitless, and the time is now for us to believe in using these technologies to transform our region for the better.

Known in the technical world as additive manufacturing, 3-D printing represents a group of technologies that prints three-dimensional shapes from computer files using a layer-by-layer building process.

Industry is using these machines to print jet engine components and medical implants and virtually everything in between.

UTEP has been a leading force in the global 3-D printing revolution since 2000 when, envisioning 3-D printing's huge potential, we made a strategic investment in 3-D printing technologies to assist local manufacturers in prototyping parts prior to investing in the costly tools required for production.

The purchase of a single 3-D printing machine has developed into a world-leading research center today, the W.M. Keck Center for 3-D Innovation, where 50 of these machines ranging in cost from $1,000 to $1 million are being used on innovative research involving more than 50 active student researchers and 100 industrial and 10 federal agency clients.Our state-of-the-art facility has hosted as many as 20,000 local K-12 student visitors per year, serving to inspire our local schoolchildren in science, technology, engineering and math, and we are proud to boast producing more research publications on 3-D printing over five years than any other university in the U.S. and securing a steady flow of advanced manufacturing patents.

Most recently, the Keck Center's accomplishments were recognized nationally by its selection as the first partner satellite center for America Makes, a federally funded public-private partnership focused on 3-D printing and advancing U.S. global competitiveness in manufacturing.   

This designation legitimizes UTEP's leadership in 3-D printing and advanced manufacturing, opens up enormous opportunities for expanding our reach to other industries and federal and state agencies, and puts El Paso on the global manufacturing innovation map.

Perhaps more important from a local perspective, our plans include expanding the role of the Keck Center to help achieve the full economic potential of 3-D printing in the El Paso region.

One of El Paso's greatest challenges continues to be the "brain drain" of highly trained UTEP engineering and science graduates who are aggressively recruited by employers across the U.S. and beyond.

Today, all of the Keck Center graduates are becoming leaders in the 3-D printing industry, commanding starting salaries as high as $150,000 per year — and all outside of El Paso.

We plan to leverage our research leadership in 3-D printing and the skills of our entrepreneurial graduates to bring new industry focused on 3-D printing technologies and applications to El Paso, and to develop a high-tech, well-paid workforce capable of leading a regional 3-D printing industry.Implementing these plans will require the support of many individuals, partnerships and investments, and we are working hard to secure this support. With community support, many of you will be part of our future through the new and innovative business opportunities created in El Paso — all built around 3-D printing.


Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., P.E., is a professor of mechanical engineering at UTEP, holds the endowed Mr. and Mrs. MacIntosh Murchison Chair I in Engineering, and is the director and founder of UTEP's W.M. Keck Center for 3-D Innovation.