US additive manufacturing accelerator America Makes in association with the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) has launched two new open project calls totaling $11.75 million. This news comes at the heels of NCDMM celebrating its 20-year anniversary.
Backed by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering Manufacturing Technology Office (OSD (R&E)), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), this marks America Makes’ most substantial funding initiative since its establishment in 2012, says the company. The company notes that each project call comprises two focus areas. Anticipating a single award for each topic area, the maximum funding request differs based on the specific subject being addressed.
Enhancing materials manufacturing
With funding of $6 million from the AFRL, the initial project call, named Powder Alloy Development for Additive Manufacturing (PADAM). This project call is dedicated to expediting the progress of high-temperature metals for additive manufacturing, aiming to showcase discernible enhancements in application-specific performance benchmarks. The PADAM request for proposal (RFP) is segregated into two distinct thematic areas: Topic 1, focusing on High-Temperature Refractory Alloys, is allocated $3.6 million, while Topic 2, centered around High-Temperature Nickel-Based Superalloys, has been granted a budget of $2.4 million.
The subsequent project call, known as the Proliferation of AM Material Datasets, has announced a funding opportunity totaling $5.75 million, provided jointly by OSD(R&E) and the AFRL. The core aim of this project initiative is to enhance the quantity and diversity of rigorously documented, statistically grounded, and industrially relevant AM material datasets. The associated request for proposal (RFP) also seeks to facilitate the widespread dissemination of these insights, methodologies, and data across a broader spectrum of the AM supply chain, mandating partnerships with small businesses. Notably, the Proliferation of AM Material Datasets RFP is bifurcated into two distinct thematic areas: Topic 1 is dedicated to the Aluminum Alloy Material Dataset, with designated funding of $2.875 million, while Topic 2 is focused on High-Temperature Nickel-Based Superalloys, also securing a budget of $2.875 million.
Project call timeline
- Launch: Tuesday, August 15
- Kickoff Webinar: August 15 at MMX (Registration Required)
- Questions Due from Proposers about Scope or Approach: August 22
- Membership Eligibility Deadline: September 14
- Submission Deadline: September 29 by 5 p.m., ET
- Anticipated Awards Announcement: October 30
Proposers for the project calls are advised to reference the RFP for full details and guidelines.
- Powder Alloy Development for Additive Manufacturing Project Call, visit HERE.
- Proliferation of AM Material Datasets Project Call, visit HERE.
America Makes’ dedication towards project calls
Starting off this year with the DoD Point of Need Manufacturing challenge project call, America Makes joined forces with OSD ManTech and Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) offered up to $1.5 million for projects aligned with the MII Point of Need (PoN) Challenge. Managed by America Makes, the initiative focused on dual-use applications for DoD and domestic manufacturing needs. Seven challenges, including “Building the Forward Operating Base,” “Unmanned Ground Vehicle,” and “Warfighter Medical,” sought innovative manufacturing solutions for tough environments. America Makes members could submit proposals, partnering with the organization. The process included concept papers, quad charts, and invitation-only presentations. Concept paper submissions were due by February 6, 2023, and presentations took place on March 8 and 9, with awards expected around March 30. Projects were slated to start on May 15 and conclude before December 15, 2023.
Notably, in July alone, America Makes launched two separate project calls. The first project call valued at $11.7 million focused on improving manufacturing productivity. This initiative was named “Improvements in Manufacturing Productivity via Additive Capabilities and Techno-Economic Analysis (IMPACT).” The project aimed to showcase the benefits of AM technologies for casting and forging conducted a techno-economic analysis for metal powder AM, and addressed sourcing gaps with AM parts. The project call also emphasized novel solutions for robotic AM process planning, with a focus on enhancing continuous fiber-reinforced composite structures.
Additionally, the next project call totaling $6.4 million focused on advancing sustainable additive manufacturing. The initial document, referred to as the Open Project Call 2023, encompassed Topics 1-6 offering a total of $1.2 million in federal funding. Following that, Topics 7-8, which concentrated on the Methods and Approaches for Sustainable Additive Manufacturing (AM) Operations, were allocated $5.2 million in funding.
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Featured image shows America Makes logo. Image via America Makes.