The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announced the winners of its Additive Manufacturing Industry Awards at this year’s RAPID + TCT, taking place in Detroit, Michigan, USA, May 17 – 19. The association presented three awards, honouring research, technical innovation and career achievement.
The awards were presented by SME’s AM Technical Community Leadership Committee and Direct Digital Manufacturing Advisory Team. They produce content for the organisation’s programmes and other industry events on advanced AM technologies and processes that allow the development, testing and manufacture of new products faster and more cost-effectively. The Additive Manufacturing Industry Awards celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of individuals, teams and companies creating significant impact in commercialising AM.
SME’s AM Technical Community Leadership Committee pre-dates the formation of RAPID + TCT. It originally was created in 1992 by the Rapid Prototyping Association (RPA), which joined the SME one year later to become the Rapid Prototyping Association of SME (RPA/SME). It later was renamed SME’s Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community Advisors before eventually becoming what it is today. Its charge has always been to advise the organisation on initiatives, activities, policy and strategy related to AM.
Because of this mantra, all three of the awards, which traditionally are presented at RAPID + TCT, are focused on the application of AM technology to production, not just research and development. This year’s Additive Manufacturing Community awards include the following:
AM Industry Achievement Award
The AM Industry Achievement Award, established in 2008, was developed to recognise an individual or team for outstanding accomplishments that have had significant impact in the application of AM in any industry. The award recognises achievements that have been implemented or deployed in a commercial/industrial environment rather than research investigative work. Winners are selected with consideration for the scope and scale of benefits realized and the potential future impact their work will have on the industry.
The 2022 recipient is Slade Gardner, PhD, President and Founder of Big Metal Additive. Gardner is recognised for his contributions over a distinguished career for advancing industrial metal Additive Manufacturing, and for his recent work with large-scale metal-hybrid AM. Throughout his career he has invented, developed, and transitioned materials, equipment, and processes for a multitude of large Additive Manufacturing capabilities.
Aubin AM Case Study Award
The Aubin AM Case Study Award recognises innovations in the application of AM technologies. The purpose of the award is to recognise outstanding use cases of AM adoption and implementation and to provide inspiration to others in their journey of AM application.
Digital Manufacturing Challenge
The 2022 Digital Manufacturing Challenge is a call to action to inspire the next generation of engineers. They are challenged to re-think ways to design, create, and utilize infrastructure-level systems that deploy engineering design and manufacturing solutions to strengthen infrastructure in the response, mitigation and/or prevention of such disruptive and devastating events and envision an optimistic view of healthy, robust, sustainable, smart, agile, peaceful communities.
Winning for their topic, “Hybrid Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing of Topology Optimized Aviation Components,” the recipients from Virginia Tech included Daniel Chirvasuta, Nathanael High, Matthew Martin, T Benjamin Nguyen, Omkar Shinde and Nicolas Tomanelli.
Faculty advisors included Christopher Williams, PhD, and PhD student Sam Pratt, with assistance from industry advisor Dan Braley, CAM-T, Associate Technical Fellow & Additive Manufacturing Technical Focal of Boeing Global Services.