Open Additive awarded contract to develop multi-laser AM technology

June 2, 2020

Open Additive’s Big AM testbed (Courtesy Open Additive, LLC)

Open Additive, LLC, headquartered in Beavercreek, Ohio, USA, has been awarded a $2.94 million, twenty seven-month Air Force Commercial Readiness Program (CRP) contract to advance its metal Additive Manufacturing technology and product line to industrial scale. 

The ‘Open Systems Platform for Multi-Laser Additive Manufacturing’ contract reportedly builds on the company’s prior Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) portfolio and independent research to develop open-architecture Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (LB-PBF) systems with advanced processing and in-situ monitoring capabilities. 

Open Additive states that the CRP aims to accelerate the transition of SBIR/STTR technologies, products and services to Phase III and into the defence acquisition process. The new CRP contract (FA8650-20-C-5007) is sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) serves as the primary project partner.

According to the company, the programme seeks to develop and demonstrate a prototype quad-laser LB-PBF platform with full user control of standard and advanced processing parameters, multi-sensor monitoring and feedback control, and integrated heated build plate with 600 mm x 600 mm build area, all configured within a versatile form factor. 

The contract was awarded in February of this year, completing its first technical review this April. Dr Thomas Spears, Open Additive’s Chief Scientist, serves as the project’s Principal Investigator, having joined the team in September 2019 after spending six years at GE Aviation and GE Additive, where he led technology and product development in metal AM. 

“This effort paves the way to extend the versatility and advanced capabilities of our smaller systems to a much larger and more capable platform for the defence industrial base,” commented Dr Ty Pollak, President of Open Additive, LLC. “We’re excited to support the Air Force push in this direction.”

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As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 184-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Cheaper powders, faster build speeds and no thermal stresses? How AM is going supersonic at SPEE3D
  • Current perspectives on metal AM: Hype, volume manufacturing and the geographies of production
  • AM Ventures: An insider’s perspective on venture capital for start-ups in Additive Manufacturing
  • Binder Jetting and beyond: Optimising the use of metal powders for Additive Manufacturing
  • From lightweighting and material efficiency to energy consumption: Where are we on AM’s sustainability journey?
  • AM’s industrial impact celebrated as Sweden hosts ASMET’s fourth Metal Additive Manufacturing Conference
  • Euro PM2019: Effects of humidity and storage conditions on Additive Manufacturing powder quality
  • > More information

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