America Makes launches four new project calls with $2.1M in awards

America Makes, the U.S. national accelerator for additive manufacturing, has announced four new project calls intended to advance the maturation of industrial 3D printing. Each project addresses one or more areas in or around additive manufacturing, including materials data, process monitoring, data management, education, and workforce development.

John Wilczynski, Executive Director of America Makes, states: “We are extremely excited about these four project calls as they speak to the core of what America Makes does as an Institute – convenes, coordinates, and catalyzes the AM community. This announcement defines a significant opportunity to build stronger collaborative relationships between our members and stakeholders and allows us to address supply chain needs previously unexplored by the Institute.”

The project calls will be detailed in a virtual TRX event in early August. Image via America Makes.
The project calls will be detailed in a virtual TRX event in early August. Image via America Makes.

The four project calls

The four new calls will offer a total of $2.1M to the best submissions. Each project call has its own specification and submission requirements which prospective awardees must adhere to.

The Open Project Call aims to define specific, actionable focus areas to cater to the needs of America Makes’ members and stakeholders. It will involve heavy collaboration between the Institute’s existing members and working groups.

The AM for Hypersonics Project Call is all about developing additively manufactured high-temperature metals with a focus on hypersonic applications. It is expected the project will be able to address some of the shortcomings of traditional manufacturing processes with lower costs, greater performance, and shorter lead times.

The Member Driven Rapid Innovation Call looks to solve immediately actionable issues raised by America Makes members. The end result will be an ‘agile framework’ that the Institute can use to adapt to ever-evolving supply chain challenges through direct member input and suggestions.

The Government Driven Rapid Innovation Call is very similar to the Member Driven call and will follow the same process, except it will gather the needs of government stakeholders. Full details of the four projects will be made available from August 4 on the America Makes webpage.

Advancements in defense

Due to its DoD backing, America Makes has been involved in a number of defense projects employing 3D printing technology. Just last month, the Institute awarded aerospace firm Raytheon Technologies with $841K to advance 3D printed military optics. Raytheon’s Topology Optimized Reflective Optics’ submission will see the development of a revamped software workflow for the laser powder bed fusion process.

Elsewhere, America Makes signed a $322M deal with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to advance the adoption of additive manufacturing as a whole. The seven-year deal will result in the establishment of a more robust and capable manufacturing base specifically for additive technologies.

The Air Force's surveillance drones rely on high-precision optics to operate. Photo via US Air Force.
The Air Force’s surveillance drones rely on high-precision optics to operate. Photo via US Air Force.

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Featured image shows the America Makes building in Youngstown, Ohio. Photo via America Makes.