The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), Blairsville, Pennsylvania, USA, and America Makes, Youngstown, Ohio, have announced the winners of the Improvements in Manufacturing Productivity via Additive Capabilities and Techno-Economic Analysis (IMPACT) directed project call, funded by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering Manufacturing Technology Office (OSD(R&E)) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), worth a total of $11.7 million.
The objective of the IMPACT project call is to demonstrate productivity and yield benefits for casting and forging manufacturing via Additive Manufacturing technologies, execute techno-economic analysis for metal powder AM, and to bridge component sourcing gaps with AM parts for casting and forging applications. Additionally, the project call was seeking innovative solutions in robotic Additive Manufacturing process planning for continuous fibre-reinforced composite structures.
“This project call addresses the needs of a broad cross-section of our nation’s supply chain including the casting and forging industry,” stated Brandon Ribic, PhD, America Makes Technology Director. “The US government considers metal casting and forgings to be one of the most critical supply chain items to our national defence and economic health. Thus, we see the need for casting and forging operations to seek advanced manufacturing capabilities that can upgrade production capacity, improve throughput, reduce cost, and take risks out of the supply chain equation. The awardees of this project call will work to shed light on the critical need for long-term strategic investments in AM to strengthen the US supply chain.”
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Additionally, the techno-economic analysis study on metal powder AM seeks to prioritise investment areas to improve the business case of one of the most mature AM processes. The research in robotic planning strategies for continuous fibre-reinforced Additive Manufacturing aims at reducing the producibility barriers of autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles.
“Applying the full three-dimensional power of advanced manufacturing technologies, such as industrial robotic arms to use for AM applications can unlock many unseen potentials,” added John Martin, America Makes Additive Manufacturing Research Director.
Below is the list of award winners and related topics/projects:
Topic 1: Develop/disseminate leading practices and accelerate the adoption of 3D printed molds/cores for sand castings
- Project 1: Implementing Best Practices and Technology Improvements for 3D Printed Molds/Cores for Sand Castings, led by Honeywell International, Inc.
Topic 2: Mature AM ceramic technology and promote adoption for rapid, low-volume production of investment castings for defense applications
- Project 1: AM Ceramic Shell Technology for Investment Casting, led by Investment Casting Institute
- Project 2: 3D CREATE – 3D Ceramic Research & Extensive Application of Tools for Engineered Molds, led by Renaissance Services, Inc.
- Project 3: Maturation of Ceramic 3D Printed Shell-based Investment Casting Foundry Capabilities of the 76 CMXG at Tinker Air Force Base, led by DDM Systems, Inc.
Topic 5: Optimizing Forging Preforms Production Using Different Additive Manufacturing Routes: Process Selection, Testing, and Performance Evaluation
- Project 1: Pilot the Industrialization of AM preforms to Expedite the Forging Process for Low-Volume Forged Components, led by Cleveland State University
Topic 6: Develop and disseminate leading DED and cold spray practices to promote adoption of die repair for forging applications
- Project 1: DED Additive Manufacturing for Forging Die Repair, led by Cleveland State University
Topic 8: Techno-economic analysis and manufacturing readiness assessments to address bridging component sourcing gaps with AM parts for critical casting and forging production
- Project 1: Casting & Forging Techno-Economic Framework, led by Deloitte Consulting, LLP
- Project 2: Techno-Economic Analysis and Assessment to Bridge Sourcing Gaps between Casting and Forging to Additive Manufacturing, led by Wichita State University – National Institute for Aviation Research
Topic 9: Powder AM techno-economic analysis
- Project 1: Techno-Economic Analysis of Powder Bed Fusion for the Air Force, led by Wohlers Associates, Powered by ASTM International
Topic 10: Innovations in robotic additive manufacturing process planning
- Project 1: 3D Toolpathing Software Advancements for Steered Continuous Fiber Robot Process Planning, led by Continuous Composites, Inc.
Further details on the winning project teams is available here.
Project teams will report on their progress with these projects at the America Makes Technical Review and Exchange and other industry events during the execution phase of the programme.