$1M 3D sand printer unveiled at Agile Casting in Leetonia

Grant secured by America Makes, YSU sets up teaching partnership with Humtown

Columbiana-based Humtown Products held a grand opening for a second facility located in the Leetonia World Trade Park on Tuesday. In a partnership with Youngstown State University and America Makes, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held before nearly 100 guests to unveil Humtown’s nearly $1 million state-of the-art 3D sand printer, the only one of its kind in Ohio. YSU President Jim Tressel was the featured speaker and joked the facility excited him for so many reasons he didn’t understand but took note of the partnership that brought everything together. From left during the ribbon-cutting ceremony are, YSU undergraduate students Joe Lonardo, Dean Jaric, Caitlyn Rodomasky, Ethan Altomare, post-graduate student Ashley Marthof, Brett Conner of YSU, Humtown President Mark Lamoncha, Scott Deutsch, communications manager for the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, Barb Ewing, chief operating officer for the Youngstown Business Incubator, Tressel, and Brandon Lamoncha, sales manager and solution provider for Humtown Products. The new company is called Agile Casting Solutions Inc. and the printer is in the background. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)

LEETONIA — The only 3D sand printer in Ohio, valued at just under $1 million, was showcased at Agile Casting Solutions Inc. in the World Trade Park on Tuesday.

Humtown Products is the parent company of Agile Casting Solutions, and the state-of-the-art 3D sand printer spearheads a razor-sharp additive manufacturing revolution in the state.

It was secured with an Ohio Third Frontier grant to Youngstown State University and America Makes, partners with Humtown Products.

Humtown Products President Mark Lamoncha said the S-Max sand printer is one of the largest commercially available printers for sale in the U.S.

It will be used to support the metal casting industry in Ohio at the World Trade Park,  located off state Route 344 and owned by the Columbiana County Port Authority. It will serve as a classroom and laboratory for YSU engineering students and from other universities and community colleges in northeastern Ohio.

Prior to a ribbon-cutting ceremony, YSU President Jim Tressel talked of the adversity the Mahoning Valley has suffered through the loss of steel mills and said Lamoncha’s vision met reality through his understanding of the “science of a team” and need for cooperation.

It’s another piece to the ongoing recovery from the steel mill shutdowns.

“We want to be leaders here in the Mahoning Valley,” Tressel said lauding Lamoncha along with Dr. Brett Conner of YSU.

“They got it to come together and sit on top of each piece. This is an area to get everyone together. We really believe we can get together with a team,” Tressel said.

Lamoncha called it a “win-win” with the schools and said the question isn’t are they ready for business, but “is business ready for them.”

He noted that “Ahead of technology comes three-dimensional thinking and leadership; that’s the kind of thinking we are seeing.”

Lamoncha said the unique relationship with YSU and America Makes brings Humtown to a position to continue transitioning the Mahoning Valley from the rust belt to the “technology belt.”

He said the process began three years ago with the Youngstown Business Incubator, YSU and America Makes.

“I’ve never seen such a level of cooperation,” Lamoncha said, “America Makes connected key players in 3D printing” which he said will stay in the area “and grow.”

Conner, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering at YSU, said,  “Once this printer hit the ground here, we got going.”

He said it’s part of a plan to train and educate, assist design work, research and development for YSU while prototyping the next generation of castings for commerce.

Scott Deutsch, communications manager for the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, said, “This is what matters, this machine is what matters, this advanced manufacturing device, this introduced a new manufacturing technique.”

Conner said, “So many universities operate in themselves. YSU recognizes the ultimate — commercial. This is a phenomenal step for this university.”

U.S. Rep Bill Johnson sent a laudatory proclamation to Humtown while county officials including Penny Traina, executive director for the port authority, Economic Development Director Tad Herold, and county commissioners also attended the event along with 93 others.

lshields@salemnews.net

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