Pittsburgh Plans 3D Printing, Additive Hub


Pittsburgh International Airport and its Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus recently announced the development of Neighborhood 91, a world-first development that is aiming to both condense and connect all components of the additive manufacturing and 3D printing industry.

The state of Pennsylvania and the Airport Authority have invested $22 million in the initial development of the 195-acre project, which has been established in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh.

Neighborhood 91

Named for its distinction as the city’s 91st neighborhood, the innovation campus will create a technology hub where all components involved in the additive manufacturing and 3D printing supply chain can be connected in one production ecosystem.

Neighborhood 91 will be conveniently located adjacent to the airport, in addition to two major highways, 18 railways and the largest inland port in the U.S. Due to its proximity to all types of transportation, officials estimate companies within the campus will experience reduced shipping and receiving costs, in addition to as much as 80% shortened lead times.

“The Pittsburgh region has always been a world leader in manufacturing,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald in a news release. “Now that industry has evolved into additive manufacturing and 3D printing, and through Neighborhood 91, we have laid the groundwork to become the global epicenter.”

According to reports on the development, 24 acres of the future neighborhood have already been cleared by MS Consultants (Moon, Pennsylvania)—which was involved in the land preparation design—with all infrastructure and utilities installed.

The project’s first phase will involve the construction of multiple buildings, slated to total between 150,000 and 200,000 square feet, as reported by David Storer, the Authority’s Director of Business Development. Storer adds that six or seven buildings ranging between 15,000 and 35,000 square feet could also be constructed.

“It’s up to the tenants,” he explained, who will be signing ground leases spanning from 30 to 50 years.

The first tenant to sign up for a space within the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Center is Arencibia (Allentown, Pennsylvania), a supplier and recycler of noble gas—a gas used to provide inert environments for metal manufacturing and 3D printing. Arencibia has also been listed as a partner in the campus development, as the company plans to supply argon gas to other tenants within the neighborhood. (The onsite availability is expected to save prospective manufacturers up to 60%, as manufacturing costs are related to gas expense.)

Although tenants will reportedly get to choose their own teams to design, engineer and construct their buildings within the campus, Arencibia’s President and CEO, Joseph Arencibia, says the company hasn’t done so, yet. However, Arencibia says that his company plans to construct a gas-recycling process plant between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet on a concrete pad, in addition to another building—roughly 2,000 square feet—to house its offices, control room, spare parts and more.

Neighborhood 91 is also slated to house an overall facility that will offer various materials necessary for additive manufacturing, including powders, parts, testing and analysis, communal powder storage facilities, noble gases and more. The airport is also planning to construct a second microgrid to power the tech campus and further increase cost savings for tenants.

“Part of our vision is to advance the region’s role as a world leader. Additive manufacturing is looking for a place to call home and no one has made that happen—until now,” said Christina Cassotis, CEO of Pittsburgh International Airport.

As reported in Building Design + Construction, Storer envisions the campus as a “continuum” with Hazelwood Green, a 264,000-square-foot research and development campus for robotics, AI and other technologies.

Construction for Neighborhood 91 is slated to begin in 2020.


Tagged categories: 3D printing; 3D Printing; Additives; Colleges and Universities; Color + Design; Commercial Construction; Construction; Manufacturing Plant; NA; North America; Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Research and development; Technology; Upcoming projects

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