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Goierri Eskola

Forging a Promising Future through Vocational Training

The Challenge

Located in Spain’s Basque Country, Goierri Eskola serves as a leading educational institution, supported by the Goierriko Herrien Ekintza Foundation. The project collaborates with 18 municipalities and 40 companies in the Goierri region. Its focus on community participation drives unparalleled progress and development.

Goierri Eskola’s journey in the field of additive manufacturing has become an exciting challenge as it seeks to reinforce its position as a leader in technical education and business collaboration. At the heart of this challenge are two fundamental pillars: providing complete and comprehensive training, and offering services and collaboration for business projects.

Aitor Zuriarrain, a professor in the engineering department, gives us a clear insight into the objectives and needs that drive this quest for excellence. The technical laboratory is the stage where this insight comes to life. Here, additive manufacturing technologies, such as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), Stereolithography (SLA), and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) for metals, and the newly incorporated Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), come together to provide a state-of-the-art learning and experimentation environment.

About six years ago, Goierri Eskola encountered a challenge that turned into an opportunity. The goal of launching a master’s degree in additive manufacturing required a 3D print system for metals with specific properties. Accuracy, ease of use, and accessibility were essential. Aitor Zuriarrain explains how this need marked the beginning of an exhaustive search for the appropriate technology.

This challenge would not only reinforce the educational portfolio of the institution but would also strengthen its position as a key player in innovation and technological development, both in the Goierri region and in Spain as a whole.

The introduction of Metal X within our center has meant a change for the better in training, expanding what we offer in a competitive way"
– Aitor Zuriarrain Professor of Engineering
Featured is a demonstration of metal parts inserted into the sinter.

The Solution

Aitor Zuriarrain reveals the solution that turned Goierri Eskola’s vision into a reality. The turning point came when they chose to test out the Markforged Metal X system, which raised the bar for the institution.

Aitor Zuriarrain explains, “The Metal X system is comprised of several components: a 3D printer using Metal FFF technology, a washing system to remove part of the binder, and a sintering system.”

He continues, “Working with the Metal X system has allowed us to participate in funded projects and to occasionally collaborate with companies by making customized models for some applications.” Aitor further elaborates on a specific achievement: “We participated in a European project, where we were subcontracted the production of a tool with an internal cooling channel. We did a comparative study between SLM and Metal X. The materials used were 17-4PH Stainless Steel and H13 Tool Steel. The tool weighed more than 1 kg and, even though it was outside of the range of the design criteria that Markforged suggests for this system, the result was impressive.”

In addition to its impact on business projects, the Metal X system has become an invaluable learning tool for students. Engineers-to-be have access to this cutting-edge technology for their final year and master’s projects. They can design parts, explore their uses, and print them for rigorous testing.

Goierri Eskola has found the Markforged Metal X system to be a solution that has not only revolutionized its education in metal additive manufacturing but has also opened up a world of possibilities for collaboration and project development. This commitment to innovation and learning will propel the institution towards an even brighter future.

The Metal X system has allowed us to participate in funded projects and to collaborate with companies by making customized models for some applications."
– Aitor Zuriarrain Professor of Engineering
The Metal X system in Goierri’s technical laboratory

In this overview of additive manufacturing at Goierri Eskola, the combined opinions of students and teachers come together to highlight the clear and proven advantages that have emerged from their commitment to innovation and technology

Aitor Zuriarrain emphasizes, “The introduction of Metal X within our center has meant a change for the better in training, expanding what we offer in a competitive way, and bringing us closer to the working world. We can also offer high value-added services to the companies that we work with on various projects.”

The future is bright, and Goierri Eskola is ready to continue leading the way in additive manufacturing.

Markforged’s Metal X met all the requirements we were looking for at the time: a simple metal technology with a fast learning curve that is easy to take on board, user-friendly software, a variety of materials, accuracy, and ease of use. In short, it is ideal for education.”
– Aitor Zuriarrain Professor of Engineering
Finished metal parts being removed from the Metal X sinter

The Future

Goierri Eskola is preparing to embrace exciting challenges and opportunities in the development of additive manufacturing.

A recently awarded project involves the manufacturing of small copper parts with different textures in the surface finish. These parts are vital in heat transfer applications, and surface texture plays a crucial role in their performance. Goierri Eskola is embarking on the task of thoroughly analyzing the cooling capacity of each part based on its texture, a challenge that demonstrates its commitment to innovation and research.

“We want to use Inconel 625 to make boiler parts where high temperatures are needed. Although the size of the parts is a limiting factor, we need to investigate this application since we have companies nearby who we believe we can help in the production phase,” says Aitor Zuriarrain.

Collaboration is an essential part of Goierri Eskola’s approach, and its partnership with Hub 4.0 at the Goierri innovation pole is a testament to this. They have access to a Mark Two™ 3D printer, which allows them to work on parts requiring dimensional stability with continuous fiber reinforcement. This joint focus on technology opens up a world of possibilities in the research and development of cutting-edge components. Goierri Eskola is preparing to embrace the future with enthusiasm and determination. Its constant search for challenges and its commitment to innovation and collaboration not only enrich its educational portfolio, but also strengthen its position as a key player in technological research and development. The horizon of possibilities is wide, and Goierri Eskola is ready to continue leading the way in additive manufacturing.

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