The US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, has awarded $3.7 million in grants to help address current and future barriers to widespread adoption of metal Additive Manufacturing through measurement science research.
“The US can take a leading role in developing the measurements and international standards that will help accelerate adoption of these important 3D printing technologies,” stated Laurie E Locascio, NIST Director and Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology. “To compete globally, we need to invest in programs such as this that bring together our best minds in industry, academia and government to solve important technical challenges.”
“Additive Manufacturing offers advantages such as reduced material waste, lower energy intensity, reduced time-to-market, and just-in-time production that could bolster supply chains in the US,” Locascio continued. “Accelerating the adoption of new measurement methods and standards will help to advance US competitiveness in this important industry.”
Through its own research and with these grants, NIST is working towards addressing barriers to adoption of Additive Manufacturing, including measurement science to support equivalence-based qualification and model-based qualification, the characterisation of AM materials, and standards to support consistent data exchange/characterising new advances in Additive Manufacturing production systems.
The following organisations will receive NIST Metals-Based Additive Manufacturing Grants Program funding to be spent over two years:
- The Research Foundation for the State University of New York (Albany, New York) — $957,706 The goal for this project is to demonstrate an enhanced nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technique that can determine key material properties such as oxide thicknesses, splatter particle percentage, grain size and defect detection.
- Colorado School of Mines (Golden, Colorado) — $956,888 This project will examine new optical metrologies to enable real-time process feedback and control to achieve process-based qualification and certification of metallic parts made by Additive Manufacturing.
- Auburn University (Auburn, Alabama) — $949,075 The goal of this project is to establish a data-driven framework with computer vision and machine learning for the nondestructive qualification of Additive Manufacturing materials and parts for applications that cannot afford failures due to fatigue.
- General Electric, GE Research (Niskayuna, New York) — $873,999 GE Research teamed up with GE Additive and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to establish the Intelligent Stitch Integration for Testing and Evaluation (I-SITE) programme to extend existing standardised methods and build correlations between sensor response, material behaviour and mechanical properties.