America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, announced the 15 awardees of its second call for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects. Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, America Makes will provide $9 million in funding toward these projects with $10.3 million in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $19.3 million. The projects are expected to commence in early Spring.

The call for entries focused on five technical topic areas: design for additive manufacturing, AM materials, process and equipment, qualification and certification, and knowledge-base development. The 15 selected projects span a variety of AM processes and materials with near-term technical achievements that address a comprehensive set of priorities, needs, gaps, and opportunities within the AM and 3D printing industry. Here is the list of funded projects.

AM of Biomedical Devices from Bioresorbable Metallic Alloys for Medical Applications: The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, in partnership with ExOne, and Magnesium Elektron Powders, will develop AM methods to convert magnesium and iron-based alloys into biomedical devices, such as bone plates, tracheal stents, and scaffolds.

3D Printing Multi-Functionality: AM for Aerospace Applications: University of Texas-El Paso, in partnership with Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman Corporation; rp+m, Inc.; Stratasys, Ltd.; The University of New Mexico; and Youngstown State University, will integrate a comprehensive manufacturing suite into fabrication process to include: extrusion of robust thermoplastics/metals, micromachining, laser ablation, embedding wires and fine-pitch meshes submerged within the thermoplastics, and robotic component placement to fabricate multi-material structures for products like consumer wearable electronics and biomedical devices.

Metal Alloys and Novel Ultra-Low-Cost 3D Weld Printing Platform for Rapid Prototyping and Production: Michigan Technological University, in partnership with Aleph Objects, Inc.; ASM International; Miller/ITW; Thermo Analytics, Inc.; and The Timken Company, will focus on four interlinked tasks necessary to commercialize an ultra-low-cost 3D metal printer and develop new 3D printable alloys for it.

A Database Relating Powder Properties to Process Outcomes for Direct Metal AM: Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with AMETEK Specialty Metal Products; ATI Powder Metals; CalRAM Inc.; Carpenter Powder Products Inc.; FineLine Prototyping, Inc.; Medical Modeling Corporation; North Carolina State University; Oxford Performance Materials; Pratt & Whitney; Robert C. Byrd Institute; TE Connectivity Ltd.; United Technologies Research Center; and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, will create a first-of-its-kind database relating powder properties from various suppliers to process outcomes.

High-Throughput Functional Material Deposition Using a Laser Hot Wire Process: Case Western Reserve University, in partnership with AZZ|WSI; Lincoln Electric Company; rp+m, Inc.; and RTI International Metals, will focus on the assessment of a laser-assisted, wire-based additive process for different highthroughput functional material deposition applications, and will benchmark it against a laser-/powder-based AM process.

Development of Knowledgebase of Deposition Parameters for Ti-6Al-4V and IN718: Optomec, in partnership with Applied Optimization Inc., will offer an efficient and reusable solution to define permissible combinations of process parameter values to produce defect-free additive deposits.

Development of Distortion Prediction and Compensation Methods for Metal Powder-Bed AM: GE Global Research, in partnership with 3DSim, Inc., CDI Corporation, Honeywell Aerospace, Pan Computing LLC, Penn State University, United Technologies Research Center, and the University of Louisville, will work to establish a standard set of AM design rules, distortion mitigation practices, and associated training for the entire AM supply base.

Developing Topology Optimization Tools that Enable Efficient Design of AM Cellular Structures: The University of Pittsburgh, in partnership with Acutec Precision Machining Inc.; Alcoa Inc.; ANSYS, Inc.; and ExOne, will develop robust software for design and optimization of AM structural designs based on cellular structures.

Automatic Finishing of Metal AM Parts to Achieve Required Tolerances & Surface Finishes: North Carolina State University, in partnership with Advanced Machining; CalRAM Inc.; FineLine Prototyping, Inc.; Iowa State University; John Deere; Kennametal Inc.; and Productivity Inc., will attempt to create a hybrid manufacturing system, using both additive and then subtractive processing, so that mechanical parts can be digitally manufactured to meet the final accuracy required.

Electron Beam Melted Ti-6Al-4V AM Demonstration and Allowables Development: Northrop Grumman in partnership with CalRAM Inc., Concurrent Technologies Corporation, General Electric, and Robert C. Byrd Institute, will demonstrate the full-scale component fabrication of electron beam (E-Beam) AM Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy components, the development of a complete set of materials design allowables, and validation of non-destructive evaluation methods on full-scale E-Beam AM demonstration components.

Optimization of Parallel Consolidation Method for Industrial Additive Manufacturing: Stony Creek Labs, in partnership with Grid Logic; Michigan Economic Development Corporation; MSC; Oakland University; and Raytheon Missile Systems, will continue development of a novel method for AM by consolidating powder at many points on a part simultaneously.

Accelerated Adoption of AM Technology in the American Foundry Industry: The Youngstown Business Incubator, in partnership with the American Foundry Society; ExOne; Humtown Products; Janney Capital Markets; the University of Northern Iowa; and Youngstown State University, will support increased access to binder jet equipment to the small business casting industry, and the development of design guidelines and process specifications.

Development of a Low-Cost ‘Lens® Engine’: Optomec, in partnership with Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control; MachMotion; TechSolve, Inc.; and U.S. Army Benet Laboratories, will develop a modular, cost-effective “LENS Engine” for metal laser deposition, which can be installed into virtually any modern machine tool.

In-Process Quality Assurance for Laser Powder Bed Production of Aerospace Components: General Electric Aviation, in partnership with Aerojet Rocketdyne; B6 Sigma, Inc.; Burke E. Porter Machinery Company; Honeywell Aerospace; Montana Tech of The University of Montana; and TechSolve, Inc., will address the need for the development of a commercially available, platform-independent quality assurance technology for high-volume AM production of aerospace components.

Refining Microstructure of AM Materials to Improve Non-Destructive Inspection: EWI, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, and Sciaky, Inc., will address the need to improve the ability to ultrasonic inspect titanium alloy components for high-performance aerospace applications.

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