America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), is proud to announce seven awardees of its most recent Project Call for additive manufacturing (AM) projects. NCDMM/America Makes is targeting to make available approximately $5.5 million to fund multiple awards with $5.5 million in matching funds from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $11 million.
With the addition of this Project Call, America Makes will soon have a portfolio of nearly $100 million in public and private funds invested in advancing the state-of-the-art in AM in the United States.
“We are excited to get the projects from this latest Project Call underway as they achieved an unprecedented level of balance between advancing the technical R&D industry needs and developing solid workforce, education, and outreach plans that are so crucial to the successful transition and commercialization of the project outcomes,” said Rob Gorham, America Makes Director of Operations. “America Makes and its membership community are committed to ensuring that the U.S. manufacturing workforce is educated in using AM innovations for our nation’s economic competitive advantage.”
The Institute’s fourth project call, which was released in March 2016, was focused on those areas within the five “swim lanes”—Design, Material, Process, Value Chain, and AM Genome—of the Technology Roadmap that hold the greatest impact as determined by America Makes membership through the Roadmap Advisory Group (RMAG).
This Project Call also expanded the role of workforce, education, and outreach (WEO) in the successful transition of research outcomes. Prior to the release of the Project Call, the newly formed America Makes WEO Advisory Group engaged in workshops with membership and analyzed these activities from previous project calls to develop a WEO Roadmap with five “swim lanes”—Knowledge & Awareness, Hands-on Learning, Trainee Programs, Talent Pipeline, and Industrial Genome. Using this Roadmap, America Makes included a more defined WEO component in this Project Call.
“Ultimately, America Makes is pleased that this Project Call resulted in a number of high-impact education deliverables that not only align with the WEO roadmap, but more importantly, solve gaps in workforce and education training needs with tangible artifacts that can be shared, replicated, and leveraged across our membership community and beyond,” said Leanne Gluck, America Makes Deputy Director of Workforce & Educational Outreach.
The Project Call was limited to eight “critical technology element” technical topic areas, along with the addition of five “critical talent element” WEO topic areas, and all having subset focus areas. Proposals could address one or more technical topic areas, but had to address all evaluation criteria and directly align the technical topic area to one or more WEO topic area(s).
Subject to the finalization of all contractual details and requirements, the seven selected America Makes Project Call Awardees are as follows:
Optimal Design and AM of Complex Internal Core Structures for High Performance Aerial Vehicle Production
Carnegie Mellon University
Led by Carnegie Mellon University, in conjunction with Automated Dynamics Corporation; Aurora Flight Sciences; Lockheed Martin; Siemens Corporation; Stratasys Inc.; and United Technologies Corporation, this project will develop a computational system and educational materials for the optimal design and AM of 3D core (i.e., tooling) structures central in the aerospace industry. This project aims to overcome the immense and industry-wide challenges faced during the current manual design of and fabrication of core structures using conventional methods, as well as the subsequent performance of said structures. Advanced solutions will be developed using ﬁnite element methods, non-linear high-dimensional optimization, and design for AM (DFAM). In addressing WEO requirements, the project team will develop learning materials in the form of digitally disseminated lectures, software, and tutorials, and deploy a large-scale grand competition challenge.
Multi-functional Big Area AM (BAAM): BAAM with Multi-purpose Wire Embedding
University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
Led by UTEP, in conjunction with Cincinnati Incorporated and Autodesk, Inc., this project will strive to advance AM build volumes and production rates by exploring the combined capability of large-scale AM with wire embedding due to its ability to introduce wire harness features directly into structural components. Wire embedding in 3D for large-scale AM will require a two-fold approach with the development of hardware and software solutions. In parallel efforts, this project will develop software solutions that will enable the conversion of 3D wire patterns into five-axis motion toolpaths that can be executed by the BAAM + wire embedding machine and integrate wire embedding technology into the BAAM machine. To satisfy WEO requirements, the team will guide the development of a graduate certificate program, tailored to accommodate remote engineers from throughout U.S. industry and government organizations.
MULTI: Source/FeedStock/Meter-Scale METAL AM Machine
Wolf Robotics, LLC - A Lincoln Electric Company
Led by Wolf Robotics, in conjunction with Caterpillar Inc.; EWI; GKN Aerospace; IPG Photonics Corporation; ITAMCO; Lincoln Electric Company; Oak Ridge National Lab; United Technologies Corporation; and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this project will position the AM industrial user base to take advantage of the lower cost and increased flexibility associated with scalable, multi-axis (nine and above) robot systems. The project team will build upon an existing alpha generation CAD to Path AM Robotic Software tool; test and refine the CAD to Path tool for a commercial first release; and conduct basic process testing to bundle it with a multi-process, multi-meter, multi-material, production-ready robot-based 3DP system. Upon project conclusion, it is anticipated that a commercially available, multi-planer CAD to Path Software Tool will be developed as the key WEO component, enabling the production of Medium Area AM (MAAM) and Big Area (BAAM) manufactured parts within the mainstream marketplace.
Biomimetic Multi-jet Materials
3D Systems Corporation
Led by 3D Systems Corporation, in conjunction with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and the United States Army Research Laboratory (ARL), this project will endeavor to develop physiologic-like printable materials for multi-jet printing (MJP) to address the current lack of printable materials suitable for biomimetic modeling within the healthcare field. Specifically, the project will deliver standardized feedstock materials, benchmark property data, microstructure control, process window definition, and processing specifications. The project team’s technical approach will be tailored to meet specific market requirements, following the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines for medical device development. In addition to standard MJP material and chemical characterization, the project team will also leverage ARL resources to assess mechanical properties corresponding to physiological attributes. For the WEO component, canned training courses will be developed, customized initially for WRNMMC surgeons at varying experience levels on how to integrate medical modeling into their surgical planning processes.
A Non-Empirical Predictive Model for AM Lattice Structures
Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc.
Led by Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc., in conjunction with Arizona State University; Honeywell International Inc.; LAI International, Inc.; and Howard A. Kuhn, Ph.D., this project will focus on lattice structure design and manufacturing, one of the most promising areas of AM research today, by developing robust, validated material model that accurately describes how they behave with the goal of elevating the performance of theses complex structure at reduced material utilization. Three AM processes, Fused Deposition Modeling, Laser-bed Powder Bed Fusion, and Electron Beam Melting, will be addressed, using thermoplastic and metal materials. Specifically, a physics-based, geometry-independent model that can predict 3D-printed lattice structure stiffness and failure for use in design optimization and simulation will be developed and validated. The development of an online, “living” textbook and a customizable class on implementing lattice structures with AM will meet WEO requirements.
AM for Metal Casting (AM4MC)
Youngstown Business Incubator
Led by the Youngstown Business Incubator, in conjunction with the American Foundry Society; Ford Motor Company; Humtown Products; Northeast Iowa Community College; Pennsylvania State University (ARL); Product Development & Analysis (PDA), LLC; Tinker Omega Mfg. LLC; the University of Northern Iowa; and Youngstown State University, this project will strive to transform the U.S. industrial base via the development of next-generation sand printers that offer line speed production of printed cores and molds that are also economically viable for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to procure and integrate into full production lines. To transform metal casting via large-scale integration of AM technology, components need to be designed without the constraints of conventional manufacturing and then produced economically via these next-gen printers. This project will focus on the development of a next-gen production sand printer and knowledge-based design tools to overcome production barriers. The team will leverage the American Foundry Society’s state, regional, and national forums to hold workshops; offer instructor-led classes; develop e-learning modules; and engage in business-focused presentations to satisfy WEO requirements.
Multi-material 3D Printing of Electronics and Structures
Led by Raytheon, in conjunction with General Electric Company (GE); nScrypt; Rogers Corporation; UMass-Lowell (UML) Research Institute (RURI); and the University of South Florida, this project will seek to advance AM from 2D-constrained designs to conformal and embedded solutions to enable multi-material printing of integrated 3D electronics and non-planar structures as the commercial, aerospace, biomedical, and defense industries have many applications that could benefit from novel, dense, and affordable 3D electronic packaging. The project team will apply its strength in printed electronics through an integrated system approach to improve and characterize 3D printing of multi-material and embedded electronics by working across the supply chain (inks, materials, printers, design, and control software) to establish a best practices baseline. To meet WEO requirements, the project team will develop online, certificate courses; instructor-led labs; R&D mentoring of undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduates; and customized and canned training programs.
“With this Project Call, we made some modifications to the proposal process and those changes yielded positive results in membership involvement, proposal quality, and overall, a more productive proposal process,” said John Wilczynski, America Makes Deputy Director of Technology Development. “We look forward to officially kicking off these projects next month.”
The anticipated start date of the Project Call is August 2016.
For more information, visit: www.americamakes.us/engage/projects