With the help of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, state firms are getting a leg up on 3D printing technology and concepts of additive manufacturing.
Pontotoc Technology Center will soon offer 3D printers and scanners for use by area businesses, thanks to a $84,500 grant award from the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
The need for 3D printers and scanners was first discovered by the Oklahoma Manufacturer’s Alliance with their work with local manufacturers. Jim Lawson, and extension agent with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, needed to help a local manufacturer with a replacement part that was no longer in production. Lawson had used 3D printers and SolidWorks software to help manufacturers in the past so was familiar with SolidWorks and the 3D printing process. Lawson and Susie Overturf, PTC Information Technology Director, got together with the help of Mike Southard, Ada Jobs President and began dreaming about creating a local source for 3D print opportunities.
Overturf applied for the ODCTE Lottery grant which will provide the resources necessary for PTC to purchase digital manufacturing equipment and provide access to its use by area businesses who may not be able to afford using this type of equipment otherwise. In addition, PTC will train students on the equipment and SolidWorks software which will further develop the Ada areas talent pipeline and encourage STEM learning from elementary through high school.
“Receiving a Oklahoma Career Tech grant is a competitive process and is based on innovation, student impact and the expansion of technology in the educational process.” said David Lassiter, Pontotoc Technology Center Superintendent, “Having this technology available in Pontotoc County and available to not only students, but also the community, is going to be invaluable in growing businesses and skills.”