America Makes Awards Second Round of Projects

The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, America Makes, has announced its second round of funding for companies and organizations keen on pushing the technology forward in the US.  Project teams will have $19.3 million to use towards their stated goals, $9 million from America Makes – led by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) – and $10.3 million from the teams themselves.  This second project call, announced on August 30, 2013, requested submissions that addressed five key areas: “AM materials; process and equipment; qualification and certification; and knowledge base development-each with subset focus areas.

The vice president of the NCDMM and Director of America Makes, Ed Morris had this to say about the proposals awarded: “We were very pleased by the quality of the projects proposed by our members for this second round of additive manufacturing R&D projects being launched, which of course made the final selection process even more challenging. Combined with the projects underway from our first project call, we will soon have nearly $30 million of public and private funds invested in advancing the state-of-the-art in additive manufacturing in the United States.

15 awardees were selected, which is far too many for me to paraphrase here.  At the same time, it’s hard for me not to think that every project on the list is important, so allow me to list the titles and project leads and you can head over to the America Makes site to read more about each one:

  • GE Aviation will work on “In-Process Quality Assurance (IPQA) for Laser Powder Bed Production of Aerospace Components”

  • GE Global Research will develop methods for “Distortion Prediction and Compensation…for Metal Powder-Bed AM”

  • Optomec also won two awards; one for “Development of a Low-Cost ‘Lens® Engine’, which will be a joint effort with Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control, MachMotion, TechSolve, Inc., and U.S. Army Benet Laboratories.  The other is titled “Development of Knowledgebase of Deposition Parameters for Ti-6Al-4V and IN718”.

  • The University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine will partner up with ExOne to develop “AM of Biomedical Devices from Bioresorbable Metallic Alloys for Medical Applications.”

  • Pitt will also be working with ExOne under a separate award for a project titled, “Developing Topology Optimization Tools that Enable Efficient Design of AM Cellular Structures”.

  • EWI, with Lockheed Martin and Sciaky, Inc., will tackle “Refining Microstructure of AM Materials to Improve Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI)”

  • North Carolina State University, with a number of industry members, won with a project titled “Automatic Finishing of Metal AM Parts to Achieve Required Tolerances & Surface Finishes”

  • Northrop Grumman has a project called “Electron Beam Melted Ti-6Al-4V AM Demonstration and Allowables Development”

  • The University of Texas at El Paso is partnering with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Corporation, rp+m, Inc., Stratasys, Ltd., The University of New Mexico, and Youngstown State University on “3D Printing Multi-Functionality: AM for Aerospace Applications”

  • Michigan Tech will continue its low-cost 3D metal printer with “Metal Alloys and Novel Ultra-Low-Cost 3D Weld Printing Platform for Rapid Prototyping and Production”

  • The Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI)’s project “Accelerated Adoption of AM Technology in the American Foundry Industry”

  • Carnegie Mellon will cover “A Database Relating Powder Properties to Process Outcomes for Direct Metal AM”

  • Case Western Reserve University is researching “High-Throughput Functional Material Deposition Using a Laser Hot Wire Process”

  • And, finally! Stony Creek Labs has a project titled “Optimization of Parallel Consolidation Method for Industrial Additive Manufacturing”

All of these projects deserve more attention than they were given in this post, but the lineup seems well equipped in terms of getting AM adopted by the traditional manufacturing supply chain.  Quality control, better machines, databases of knowledge – now, we’re printing with gas1  Or, as we say in the 21st Century, “Now we’re printing with algae biofuel!”

The projects are slated to begin early Spring of this year and a members only Program Management Review will take place March 18-20 in Youngstown, Ohio, during which the projects will be discussed at greater length for all America Makes members.
Source: America Makes (hat tip to John!)