Humber College and Cimetrix Solutions, a manufacturer of 3D design and printing technology, agreed to a five-year partnership focusing on training students to operate advanced industrial 3D-printing equipment.
Along with an initial donation of $300,000 towards equipment, Cimetrix will be Humber’s top partner in additive manufacturing, which is technology for developing 3D objects. Cimetrix will work closely with college students and other additive manufacturing companies at the new Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (Barrett CTI).
Farzad Rayegani, the Dean of the school of Applied Technology at Humber, said additive manufacturing is a new technology and is different than traditional manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing is the process of joining materials to create objects from 3D model data Regular manufacturing uses physical building materials, like plastic, metal or even human tissue.
“We are learning from each other from an industry perspective to see how we can use additive manufacturing to teach all the students when they go out in the industry to have that skill and competency in 3D-printing,” Rayegani said.
Technology will be shipped to the Barrett CTI throughout the duration of the five-year partnership.
He was the former chair on the additive manufacturing committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). ASME is the biggest engineering society globally. Rayegani’s role was to lead 3D-printing challenges for students around the world, he said.
Rayegani said he is trying to implement revolutionary technology into the curriculum of several programs including mechanical engineering, the electronics program, and industrial design. Theoretically, the technology can be used for any program that involves the process of developing a part or product, Ravegani said. For example, health sciences can use 3D-printing for developing biotechnology.
The partnership between Rayegani and Cimetrix Solutions goes further back than just this partnership. The two were partners in 2012 and the relationship has grown into what it is today.
“When I came to Humber, I brought Cimetrix here to contribute to the Humber community,” Rayegani said.
To encourage the use of the technology, Cimetrix will work with Humber to assign students 3D-printing projects, and will award scholarships. The contest is supposed to give students a reason to learn the skills of additive manufacturing, Rayegani said.
An estimated donation of $50,000 will offer $10,000 to each winner of the contest over the next five years.
Students will be using the Barrett CTI as a platform for their work. Expected to be completed by January, the building will integrate new learning pathways and opportunities for students, faculty, and industry experts to work together, and use the latest technology to solve real-world business challenges.
Kirsten Janeteas, education director at Cimetrix, said the new centre will strengthen the company’s relationship with Humber.
“What the Barrett CTI enables is for the applications knowledge that’s required both by students and industry to be demonstrated in real world projects,” Janeteas said.
Her role is to work with academic institutions across Canada to understand the abilities of additive manufacturing and to bridge the gap between industry needs and student preparedness.
Janeteas said she believes the partnership will be very important to students.
“You know, [the partnership is] not for the importance for Cimetrix, it’s for the importance of Humber students and to the companies that engage with the Barrett CTI,” Janeteas said.
Anthony Nyman, a lab technician at Humber, said he can see the benefits of this partnership for students.
“Any time Humber makes partnerships like this with companies, if it results in new equipment and students being exposed to new technologies, that can only be good,” Nyman said.
Several other technicians including Nyman look after the labs to make sure the equipment is running and occasionally build machinery during the summer.
He said he is satisfied with the deal but still has dreams of bringing more tools to Humber.
“I’ve heard discussion that at some point it would be nice to have metal 3D-printing but that’s very costly so I don’t know if that’s a possibility or not,” Nyman said.