Navajo Technical University Chooses Optomec System for Metal AM Training Center

NTU purchased the directed energy deposition machine with a National Science Foundation grant for use in its new Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

NTU purchased the directed energy deposition machine with a National Science Foundation grant for use in its new Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

Optomec announced it delivered a LENS Hybrid Controlled Atmosphere System to Navajo Technical University (NTU) for education, research and workforce development in advanced metal additive manufacturing. NTU purchased the directed energy deposition machine with a National Science Foundation grant for use in its new Center for Advanced Manufacturing, expected to open in 2020.

“We are creating a state-of-the-art lab with leading-edge technology that spans the whole metal additive manufacturing ecosystem right here on the Navajo Nation, giving our students access to critical skills for the future,” says H. Scott Halliday, director of NTU’s Center for Digital Technology and visionary behind the Center for Advanced Manufacturing.  “The Optomec LENS is a critical element of our vision and will be the flagship metal additive manufacturing system in the center, where we will implement an ecosystem education method to comprehensively train students to enter the workforce and will provide high-quality research and internship opportunities.

“Optomec’s LENS system was chosen because of its hybrid capabilities, fast build times and versatility to perform a wide range of tasks, from creating functionally graded materials to repairing parts,” Halliday adds.

NTU students receive the Optomec LENS MTS 500 HY CA system (pictured from left to right: Aaron Sansosie, Adriane Tenequer, Lisa Willis, Chad Yazzie, Scott Halliday, Joshua Toddy and Les Notah). Image courtesy of Optomec.


The NTU Center for Advanced Manufacturing will create a hands-on learning environment to promote education, research and workforce development for additive manufacturing. The Optomec LENS System will also be instrumental in the NTU bachelor of applied science degree in advanced manufacturing and in elevating the Center’s research capabilities, metrology and testing services to industry and other institutions.

“We are happy that LENS will play a key role in the NTU’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing, which underscores the critical nature of additive technology to future industries,” says Tom Cobbs, Optomec LENS product manager.  “What’s remarkable about this center is how—under one roof—students have access to advanced equipment and cross-discipline training in everything from CAD, to metal AM processing and machining, metrology and materials testing. Scott is doing an incredible service for NTU students and the companies they will ultimately work for by preparing them to become valuable assets post-graduation.”

Optomec’s LENS 3D Hybrid CA System is an atmosphere-controlled system for additive and subtractive processing of metals and combines Optomec’s LENS technology with a CNC automation platform.

The NTUCAM provides a hands-on learning environment for developing a scientific and engineering professional workforce to support the advanced manufacturing industry. It will houseequipment and training on 3D modeling and simulation, polymer and metal additive manufacturing, advanced manufacturing post-processing techniques, materials testing and characterization, and metrology. NTU is one of 37 Tribal colleges. Enrollment at the university is open to all students.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. 

Optomec is a privately-held supplier of additive manufacturing systems. 

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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