AMUG’s annual Technical Competition winners
April 13, 2023
The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) announced the winners of its annual Technical Competition, which recognises excellence in Additive Manufacturing applications and finishing techniques, at its annual AMUG Conference. A panel of industry veterans selected the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), Ohio, USA, and Custom Prototypes as Advanced Concepts and Advanced Finishing winners. AMUG Members also selected UDRI for the Members’ Choice Award.
Bonnie Meyer, Chair of the Technical Competition Committee, stated, “I was so impressed with the entries this year. The quality displayed and the range of industries and applications was outstanding. Every year, the judges have a bigger challenge to evaluate all of the high-quality entries. The entries just keep getting better and better!”
UDRI was named the winner of the Advanced Concepts category for an additively manufactured micro-turbine engine submitted by Ben Loerke, who represented the organisation’s engineering team. The resultant additively manufactured micro-turbine now only has four main components: rotor, housing, nozzle, and starter-motor mount. This translates to a nearly 90% part reduction compared to traditional designs.
The programme sponsor for the micro-turbine engine is the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). Additionally, contributions of skills, talents, and resources were made by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), with Michael Froning as the Principal Investigator, and Belcan Engineering.
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“The successes of this project have aided in redefining what was thought possible in metal AM design and in the use of metal AM for functional rotating hardware,” commented Ben Loerke. “The long-term goal of this project is to fill a growing [Department of Defense] need for power plants that are sourced in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner. Based on a Life Cycle Analysis of the AM engine and similar traditional engines, it is believed that AM provides a unique opportunity to strike both of these criteria and fill this need in the micro-turbine engine market.”
Through voting by AMUG’s Members, UDRI also received the Members’ Choice award.
Meyer added, “Unlike Advanced Concepts and Advanced Finishing, the Members’ Choice award has no required evaluation criteria. It is open to personal and subjective impressions. This year, the members and judges came to the same conclusion. The micro-turbine engine was impressive in so many ways.”
For Advanced Finishing, Dinsmore, Inc., represented by Bill Braune, took second place for Transformers: Rise of Soundwave. Third place was awarded to Artcast Inc. for Optimized Cast Tiger, submitted by Marcus Knoespel.
In Advanced Concepts, there was a tie for second place between Addman Engineering and Wilson. Mark Saberton represented Addman Engineering with Non-coplanar Layering of 3D Printed Parts Rendering ‘Slicing’ Obsolete. Nadine Lippa represented Wilson for its entry, Wilson Airless Prototype Basketball.
A representative of the UDRI and Custom Prototypes teams will receive complimentary admission to the 2024 AMUG Conference so that they can elaborate, from the stage, on the project details and processes used.
The Technical Competition judging panel was comprised of ten AMUG DINOs. These judges were David Flynn, Andrew Graves, David Leigh, Jason Lopes, Bruce LeMaster, Tom Mueller, Todd Reese, Harold Sears, Sean Wise, and Mark Wynn.