3D printing will be the topic of this year’s Distinguished Faculty Address, to be presented by Professor Amit Bandyopadhyay of the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

The online event is scheduled for Monday, March 22, at 3:30 p.m. It is open to the public.

The Distinguished Faculty Address honors a faculty member who has risen to the front ranks of his or her discipline through achievements in research, scholarship, and teaching. Bandyopadhyay has won international recognition for his research in 3D printing, including the prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, layers materials to produce three-dimensional shapes. It enables development of complex structures.

The address, entitled “3D Printing of Advanced Materials: A 25-Year Journey,” will recap the challenges and triumphs of Bandyopadhyay’s research and impart his vision for the future of 3D printing.

Decades of innovation

Bandyopadhyay purchased the University’s first 3D printer in 1997, when the field of additive manufacturing was in its infancy. The device extruded layers of plastic to produce three-dimensional structures.

Eight years later, Bandyopadhyay secured a grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to purchase a metal 3D printer, one of a handful in the US at the time. He used it to create advanced materials: porous metal coatings and load-bearing implants to enhance bone healing. The impact of his work is evident in the fact that, in 2019, more than 100,000 FDA-approved porous metal implants were manufactured—using 3D printing—for human use in the US alone.

Bandyopadhyay worked with NASA-Kennedy Space Center researchers to 3D print structures with moon-rock regolith, the dust and broken rock on the moon’s surface. The structures he developed traveled through space on missions to the moon and Mars. He has also developed innovative multi-material structures that could not be produced in any other way.

Accomplished educator and scholar

Bandyopadhyay has shared his journey of discovery with scores of graduate and undergraduate students and several post-doctoral researchers. Many have received awards under his mentorship.

Bandyopadhyay is a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences and a fellow of six other leading scientific societies. He serves on numerous editorial boards of materials science journals. The textbook Additive Manufacturing, which he co-edited, is used worldwide. He is an inventor of 21 issued patents. His more than 340 technical articles have been cited over 22,600 times.

The Distinguished Faculty Address is part of Showcase, the University’s annual weeklong celebration of academic excellence.