America Makes awards $8M in funding for AM applied R&D projects

America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, selected nine awardees for its Project Call #3 (AM applied R&D projects) anticipated to start in Summer 2015 and will provide up to $8 million funding. The total funding is around $19 million along with $11 million share from the awarded project teams. Following are the nine selected awardees with their projects:

Parametric designs of functional support structures for metal alloy feedstocks: University of Pittsburgh will lead the project, along with Johnson & Johnson, ITAMCO, and the University of Notre Dame, to code the design rules for support structures used in Direct Metal Laser Sintering.

Multidisciplinary Design Analysis for Seamless AM Design, Analysis, Build, and Redesign Workflows: Raytheon will lead the project, with General Electric, Altair, ANSYS, Autodesk, NetFabb, the University of Wisconsin, and the Raytheon-University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Institute, to streamline the design process and develop mass-customizable engineered solutions suitable for AM. The project will address the development of Design for Manufacturability criteria and rules that make step change improvements in the cycle time required to perform AM CAD/CAM/CAE analyses and design optimization, and also the critical technology element of design aides.

Economic Production of Next Generation Orthopedic Materials through Powder Reuse in AM: University of Notre Dame will lead the project teaming with Case Western Reserve University, SCM Metal Products Inc., Zimmer Inc., and DePuySynthes. One of the major factors limiting AM’s extension to batch production is how to optimize the number of parts in a single AM build without negatively impacting part quality. This project will focus on the reuse of powder in AM, with particular emphasis on Ti-6Al-4V, stainless steel, and nylon.

Integrated Design Tool Development for High Potential AM Applications: University of Pittsburgh will lead the project in conjunction with ANSYS, United Technologies Research Center, Honeywell, Materials Science Corporation, Aerotech, ExOne, RTI International Metals, and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. This project team will create an integrated design suite that can be rapidly commercialized, helping to minimize time of the design phase, lower manufacturing cost, and reduce time to market for new AM product development.

A Flexible Adaptive Open Architecture to Enable a Robust Third-Party Ecosystem for Metal Powder Bed Fusion AM Systems: Led by GE Global Research, in conjunction with GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and MatterFab Corp., this project will develop and demonstrate open architecture control systems, for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (PBFAM), that is flexible and easily adapted will enable a Function Applications Ecosystem, helping third-party hardware to be easily integrated into PBFAM machines. This project will directly complement an ongoing America Makes project focused on open-source protocol and software for PBFAM.

Digital Threading of AM: Boeing will lead the project with Aerojet, Raytheon, ITI, and Stratonics, Inc. This project will apply an innovative combination of in-situ process monitoring capabilities that links data with the entire digital thread to improve information provided to the additive processes, which will enable companies to reduce time to market and reduce overall lifecycle costs.

A Design Guidance System for AM: Led by the Georgia Institute of Technology along with Siemens Corporate Technology, MSC, Senvol, Stratasys, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Arlington, Lockheed Martin, GKN Aerospace, Woodward, Siemens Energy, and Siemens PLM, this project will enable the insertion of the decision tools and certification and validation of parts workflow categories, and provide a near seamless software ecosystem to eliminate the discontinuity in switching between multiple software tools by the passing of generic payload file formats, working towards the complete and ideal workflow.

Cyber-Physical Design and AM of Custom Orthoses: University of Michigan will lead the project, along with Altair ProductDesign Inc. and Stratasys, to develop AM-specific functionality built on Altair®OptiStruct®, an optimization software package, generating unique fill patterns and digitally validating performance using fused deposition modeling technology to produce customized ankle-foot orthoses. This project team seeks to leverage cloud-based design and AM technologies to achieve the throughput and performance requirements, advancements in design for AM, material offerings, system improvements, and a method to print multiple materials with multiple tip sizes to provide cost-effective, high-quality orthoses.

A Low-cost Industrial Multi3D System for 3D Electronics Manufacturing: The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) will lead the project, with Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Honeywell, and Draper Laboratory, to capitalize on the learnings of the ongoing, original America Makes project at UTEP. This project will develop a consolidated system, including a flexible tooling dock integrated within an existing CNC gantry, which will allow the interchange of (1) precision micro-machining, (2) thermoplastic extrusion, (3) direct wire embedding with wire management, and (4) direct foil embedding. With these interchangeable features, the system will be able to fabricate complex-geometric dielectric structures with densely-routed metallic network topologies.