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3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced that it has been awarded two research contracts worth over $1 million dollars to develop advanced aerospace and defense 3D printing manufacturing capabilities at convincing scale. These contracts are administered by America Makes (the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute) and funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The two contracts leverage 3DS’ proprietary Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Direct Metal 3D Printing (DMP) portfolio to meet the most demanding advanced manufacturing road map of the United States Air Force. Together with some of the nation’s leading military suppliers—including Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin—3D Systems will develop a precision closed loop and advanced manufacturing and monitoring platform, designed to deliver the accuracy, functionality and repeatability specifications demanded for flight worthy aerospace parts.

“The collaborative and forward looking initiative of America Makes members is driving extraordinary strides in 3D printing centric advanced manufacturing for this important industry,” commented Ralph Resnick, America Makes founding director and executive director. “America Makes is grateful for the support and funding from AFRL to enable important research like this.”

The first contract is led by 3DS, in partnership with the University of Delaware’s Center for Composite Manufacturing (UDCCM), Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMCO). The project is designed to integrate predictive technologies with 3DS’ SLS 3D printers to dynamically monitor parts at the layer level during the manufacturing process, ensuring optimum accuracy and repeatability of manufactured aerospace parts.

The second contract, in collaboration with the Applied Research Laboratory of Pennsylvania State University in partnership with Honeywell International and Northrop Grumman Corporation, leverages 3DS’ Direct Metal 3D printing. As a result of this project, aerospace and defense manufacturers will gain full control of every aspect of the direct metal manufacturing process at the layer level, delivering fully dense, chemically pure, flight worthy metals parts.

“These important research projects will position leading industry manufacturers to 3D print high-performance precision parts at convincing scale with enhanced functionality,” said Neal Orringer, Vice President of Alliances & Partnerships, 3DS. “3D Systems pioneered the use of advanced manufacturing for aerospace and defense applications and is proud to work with such esteemed partners to further advance these technologies and meet and exceed the future demands of the Air Force.”

Both projects are set to commence in early 2015.

For more information, visit: www.3dsystems.com

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