UNI Foundry 4.0 Center

TechWorks Campus, Waterloo, IA; Home of the UNI Foundry 4.0 CenterAt the UNI Foundry 4.0 Center, staff and students provide services targeted towards demonstration, education and consultation in additive manufacturing.  Past clients have included small and large companies alike, as well as all five branches of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Industry Service

With unmatched expertise and equipment, we have the capability to use special materials and/or processes that aren’t yet commercially available to provide molds and cores to companies.  We work with larger companies and industry associations for the acceptance and adoption of technology and then have the opportunity to move this technology down to smaller companies involved in the supply chain.  Almost all of our additive manufacturing projects are integrated into production methodologies and sold to customers.  In fact, our knowledge, expertise and direct industry outreach, the state of Iowa now has the most private companies using 3D sand printing technology in the United States.

Industry 4.0 Foundry Partnership

Foundries across the nation are under constant pressure to improve processes and overcome the challenges of this segment. The demands for accuracy and precision, as well as notable increases in the quantities, product range, and components, will continue to rise. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), acknowledge the situation and recognize the challenges and obstacles. By joining forces with two universities, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and Youngstown State University (YSU), foundries will be able to increase the adoption of Industry 4.0. Download the project brochure to learn more. 

This project is sponsored by the Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations, J68, Research & Development, Ft. Belvoir, VA, and the DLA Troop Support, Philadelphia, PA.


  • Hard foundry tooling for medium to high-pressure sand molding
    • ​PLA (FFF)Students Cleaning Cores
    • SLA Shell
  • ​Expendable investment patterns
    • PMMA
    • Wax
    • SLA QuickCast
    • PolyCast (FFF)
  • Investment casting tree assembly & shells
  • Printed sand molds and cores
    • ​Silica
    • Ceramic
    • Zircon
    • Chromite
    • Silica/zircon blends
    • Black iron oxide blends
    • Magnesium inhibitor blends
  • ​Robotic sand milling of cope & drag molds
  • Printed expendable patterns for lost foam casting (FFF)
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing 
  • Dimensional analysis

Research & Development

Staff and students are continuously working on R&D projects to advance the additive manufacturing industry. Just a few highlights:

  • Developed new domestic printing materials that have reduced the cost of 3D sand printing by more than 80%
  • Assisted in the development of low-VOC non-flammable printer cleaning fluid that reduces fire, environmental and worker safety risks
  • Development of environmentally safe inorganic resin systems to be used in sand printing technology

Lab Capabilities

  1. Production Lab
  2. Student Engineering Center 
  3. Plastic Printing Lab 
  4. Robotic Mold Machining Center 
  5. Design Lab (in partnership with Hawkeye Community College)

UNI Foundry 4.0 Center Equipment

  • ExOne S-Max Sand Printer

  • ProMetal RCT S-15 Sand Printer

  • Hexagon Metrology 3 Meter Romer Arm with Laser Scanner

  • Arcam Spider Handheld White Light Scanner

  • Voxeljet Systems, VX1000 PMMA Printer

  • 3D Platform Fused Filament Fabrication Plastic Printer

  • 5-Axis Kuka Robotic Sand Mold Milling Cell

  • KEA Automation Robotic Shell Room System

  • FormLabs Form2 Printer

  • 3D Systems ProJet 660Pro Color Jet Printer

  • 3D Systems ProX 800 3D Stereolithography (SLA) Printer

  • 3D Systems ProJet MJP 2500 IC Wax Printer