Leading the nation in additive manufacturing research
The University of Louisville is one of the strongest academic research centers in the country in the area of Additive Manufacturing (AM).
The state-of-the-art Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC) has assisted industrial users since 1993 when the UofL became the first U.S. university to install a selective laser sintering (SLS) system. Members of the RPC consortium range from Fortune 100 companies to individual inventors and entrepreneurs. With advanced AM equipment and full feature CNC machine tools the RPC is one of the most advanced university prototyping facilities in the country.
The UofL RPC features laser and electron beam powder bed AM processes for metals, plastics, and ceramics, with supporting facilities and expertise. The RPC also provides a full range of instrumentation and equipment for characterization of material composition, microstructure and mechanical performance.
RPC affiliated faculty, staff and students are recognized internationally as leaders in additive manufacturing/3D printing. Their research efforts include process simulation, process/property relationships, material development, material characterization methods, mechanical property measurements, dimensional control and repeatability, optimized design and methods for quality control and certification. This research program is supported by industry funding for applied research and grants from NSF, DOD, NIST and others.
The RPC staff and facility support research and development programs in additive manufacturing, provide student training in the application of these new technologies and assist technology transfer and new business development through interaction with the industrial consortium members. RPC clients also have access to UofL’s J. B. Speed School of Engineering graduates – engineers of the future with training in this state of the art technology.