Ireland South East at heart of 21st century manufacturing as WIT unveils 3DWIT

3DWIT, which will be instrumental in both training industry in new manufacturing techniques as well as providing prototype development services, has been launched at Waterford Institute of Technology.

3DWIT is an initiative of SEAM (South Eastern Applied Materials) Research Centre, an Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Centre based in WIT and headed by Dr Ramesh Raghavendra.

High potential and fast-growing field of additive manufacturing

Following the opening of its metal 3D printing centre in 2014 SEAM is now spinning out 3DWIT for the support and education of industry needs in the high potential and fast-growing field of additive manufacturing (AM).

 ‘Tremendous asset for the region’

Speaking at SEAM, where she also officially opened the new 3DWIT additive manufacturing project, which received grant funding of over €1.3 million under her department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), Minister Humphreys said:  “It is a tremendous asset for the region and will support industry needs in the high potential and fast-growing field of additive manufacturing.

“3DWIT will give manufacturing companies in the southeast a competitive edge, and in turn will help to create jobs in many industrial sectors from biomedical devices to precision engineering and micro-electronics.”

In addition to the launch of 3DWIT, SEAM also celebrated 10 years of its service to industries and achievement of securing €1.9m Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund funding as part of a consortium.

The SEAM-led consortium comprised of two SMEs Schivo Medical & Graph Engineering, MNC Stryker Ireland and CREST-TUD. Altogether the project is worth €2.6 million.

Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM director, said: “Launching 3DWIT and celebrating SEAM’s 10th birthday on the same day as the South East Regional Enterprise Plan launch highlights how WIT is at the cutting edge of industry-relevant innovation. SEAM constantly strives to advance the cutting edge of innovation by bringing novel technologies with a view to transferring the knowledge acquired to Irish based industries.”

WIT president, Prof Willie Donnelly said: “Today we are celebrating 10 years of SEAM and the launch of the 3DWIT which is funded by Enterprise Ireland under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund.

‘SEAM has become partner of choice’

“The relationship between SEAM and the regional manufacturing sector has been instrumental in the transformation of Waterford as one of Ireland’s leading advance manufacturing regions. However SEAM’s impact has been felt throughout Ireland as SEAM has become the partner of choice for the advance manufacturing industry irrespective of choice.

“The establishment of 3DWIT DAC establishes SEAM as Ireland’s centre for 3D printing, one of the most exciting and transformative technologies at the very heart of the 21st century manufacturing.”

SEAM has a strong reputation in addressing the materials engineering issues affecting manufacturing industries with fast turnaround times so as to reduce industry downtime costs and product reject rates and enhance competitiveness. One of the services offered by 3DWIT is product/prototype development services for the manufacturing sector.

SEAM and 3DWIT are also key to the future of the WIT School of Engineering as they expand their research, consultancy, education and training activities.