$5.7M funding available for additive manufacturing projects with America Makes

America Makes, the U.S. accelerator for additive manufacturing and 3D printing, has announced a new call for projects. The funds are available for enterprises meeting the criteria set by Phase 3 of the Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-Cost Sustainment (MAMLS).

The cash is provided by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division.

The project call seeks to use $5.7M to make multiple awards with a minimum of $2.8M in matched funded from the project teams. The total project call funding will be approximately $8.5M.

Three technical topics have been selected for proposals:

Topic Area 1 – Feature-based Qualification using Directed Energy Deposition (DED)

Topic Area 2 – Understanding Manufacturing Realities of AM

Topic Area 3 – Emerging Process Technology for Low Criticality Part Families

The Air Force Research Laboratory also conducts significant work using lasers.

From feature based qualification to sustainment of legacy systems

The Directed Energy Deposition (DED) topic takes a feature-based qualification (FBQ) approach seeking “to identify and create a catalog of all relevant unique combinations of process parameters with simplified specimen geometries.”

The catalog will then be used to aid part qualification, “by decomposing the parts into the relevant constituent features and producing each feature in a manner compliant with the catalog specification.”

Addressing the manufacturing realities of additive manufacturing will tackle possible causes of flaws in AM products. Flaws can occur due to powder contamination, process interruptions, unremoved powder, rough finish on downward facing surfaces, and “unintended volumetric flaws, such as lack of fusion voids or distributed porosity.”

This topic seeks to quantify the impact of defects and will also examine post-processing techniques including Hot Isostatic Pressing.

The final category recognises that while AM has substantial applications for high-value, critical components it can also be used for sustainment of legacy systems, or for non-critical parts.

These parts may include, electrical connectors, ducting, manifolds, instrumentation knobs, wiring harnesses or small brackets. Rather than using powder-bed fusion 3D printing, lower cost technology such as FFF may be more suitable for such applications.

Projects open to non-members

Further details of each topic, and how to apply are available on the America Makes website here.

A Project Call Kick-off Webinar will take place this Friday December 1, 2017. Registration can be accessed on the America Makes project page here.

The submission deadline for project concepts is January 3, 2018, it is not necessary to be a member of America Makes to submit a project concept form. Those selected to develop a full proposal will have approximately five weeks to do so, as the next deadline is the Friday, February 23, 2018.

America Makes anticipates that a decision on the selection of projects will be reached by the end of March 2018.

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