America Makes unveils winners of $5.75M in pioneering AM Material Datasets Project

The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and America Makes have announced the winners of the $5.75 million Proliferation of Additively Manufactured (AM) Material Datasets project. 

In alliance with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering Manufacturing Technology Office (OSD(R&E)), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the project sets out to broaden material utilization beyond Ti-6Al-4V. Its overarching goal is to hasten the development of robust, statistically based, and industrially relevant AM material datasets.

“The awardees will be advancing our domestic manufacturing capability with the development and delivery of these material datasets. Aluminum and nickel-based alloys are pivotal in lightweight design and elevated temperature applications across the aerospace, automotive, defense, and energy sectors,” says Brandon Ribic, Technology Director at America Makes.

The America Makes building in Youngstown, Ohio. Photo via America Makes.
The America Makes building in Youngstown, Ohio. Photo via America Makes.

New data infrastructure for additive manufacturing of aluminum and nickel alloys

Under Topic 1, the Aluminum Alloy Material Dataset, Elementum 3D, leads the Generation of Design Allowable Datasets for A7050-Ram based on MMPDS C/D-Basis Guidelines. The diverse project team includes Battelle, Castheon, Dyndrite Corporation, Eaton Corporation, EOS North America, Incodema, National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), Product Evaluation Systems, The Ohio State University Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence, and Westmoreland Mechanical Testing and Research.

For Topic 2, focusing on High-Temperature Nickel-Based Superalloys, the Electric Power Research Institute takes the lead in the Proliferation of Nickel Superalloy Material Datasets for Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing. Team members included Alloyed, Citrine Informatics, Product Evaluation Systems, Siemens Energy, Boeing, and Barnes Global Advisors.

Additionally, funds have been allocated to Wichita State University NIAR and Penn State University Applied Research Laboratory (PSU-ARL) for data review, documentation, and strategic data management development. Throughout the execution phase of the program, project teams will provide updates on their progress at events such as the America Makes Technical Review and Exchange, fostering transparency and collaboration within the additive manufacturing community.

“The rigor necessary to generate such pedigreed, statistically based material data is incredibly demanding. The outcomes of these efforts will be a substantial contribution to the AM design community. Furthermore, such collaborations are a tremendous benefit to small and medium-sized organizations as they drastically improve our knowledge base, domestic manufacturing competency, and can significantly reduce barriers to entry. We are so thrilled for this opportunity for collective learning and to serve the nation’s supply chain agility and resiliency needs,” added Ribic.

America Makes logo. Image via America Makes.

Facilitating AM advancements and sustainability efforts via new project wins

Earlier this month, America Makes, NCDMM, and AFRL disclosed winners of the $1.2 million Open Project Call, funded by OSD(R&E). Raytheon’s RTX Technology Research Center and Velo3D lead Topic 1 with “Inspection Using In-Situ Height Mapping Data,” aiming to enhance dimensional inspection of internal features. 

Topic 2, led by GE Research and Johns Hopkins University, explored “Fast scanning mirror Wobble Enabled Build Schema (Fast-WEBS)” for thermal manipulations in additive manufacturing. R3 Digital Sciences, Macy Consulting, and others address Topic 4, establishing frameworks for process monitoring and ex-situ inspection. Deloitte Consulting led Topic 6, focusing on sustainable methodologies in additive manufacturing.

A few days later, America Makes and NCDMM awarded $1.2 million to the winners of the EARTH project, funded by OSD(R&E) and AFRL. The winning teams, led by IC3D, and RTX Technology Research Center, focus on AM sustainability and environmental benefits, encouraging recycling and reutilization of 3D printing materials. 

IC3D’s project accelerates the U.S Department of Defense (DoD) using recycled polymers, while the RTX-led team optimizes powder and processes for sustainable additive manufacturing. This initiative aligns with the project’s broader mission of exploring sustainable practices for future habitats.

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Featured image shows America Makes logo. Image via America Makes.