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Timmins college expanding additive manufacturing capabilities

Northern College is using federal funds to purchase new equipment, expand lab
Northern College in Timmins

Northern College is on track to boost its ability to help companies prototype and manufacture innovative new products.

The school is the recipient of $391,428 in federal funds, which will go toward the expansion and purchase of new equipment for its Additive Manufacturing Lab, located at its Timmins campus.

In announcing the funds, FedNor Minister Patty Hajdu said the expansion would “introduce large-scale 3D technology to northeastern Ontario.”

Specifically, the funds will be used to purchase a specialized scanner, a 3D modelling computer, and large-scale 3D fused deposition modelling (FDM) and resin printers.

The new equipment is expected to help businesses develop, prototype, and pilot innovative products, while also avoiding delays caused by sourcing parts from outside of the region.

"Northern College’s Innovation Centre is driving our economy forward by connecting industry and businesses with local resources so they can develop prototypes, streamline manufacturing, and bring new products to market,” Hajdu said in a June 9 news release.

One area in which the lab is expected to focus is the health-care industry. The new equipment will enable the lab to print highly detailed components with medical-grade resins for dental, audiology, and more, according to the release.

In collaboration with additional partners, the lab is also looking to develop lighter vehicle components for the mining industry — including parts used in electric vehicles to extend battery life — a project that's aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the sector.

Audrey Penner, president at Northern College, said the project would help businesses and organizations in Timmins and across the region.

"Once fully operational, the expanded Additive Manufacturing Lab will enhance industry competitiveness and boost economic development, while serving as an experiential learning and resource hub for our students and the community,” Penner said in the release.

“With the official opening just around the corner, it will soon be easier to develop new knowledge so we can grow our economy through innovation."

Northern opened its 24,000-square-foot Innovation Hub in the fall of 2022 and has worked on a number of applied research projects with industry partners including Mine Safety Solutions and The Bucket Shop.