Additive manufacturing community chair Jason Jones, with 2016 Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award winner/co-author Kevin Chou.
Additive manufacturing community chair Jason Jones, with 2016 Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award winner/co-author Kevin Chou.

The US Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has announced the winners of awards presented at the RAPID additive manufacturing (AM) Conference & Exposition.

The paper entitled ‘Contact-Free Support Structures for Part Overhangs in Powder-Bed Metal Additive Manufacturing,’ written by Kevin Chou, PhD, and Bo Cheng of the University of Alabama, and Kenneth Cooper and Phillip Steele of Marshall Space Flight Center, won the Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award, sponsored by the Rochester Institute of Technology. The award was given for the paper's concept of employing a novel thermal management strategy to avoid distortion in parts made with metal powder-bed fusion. This innovation reduces the need to anchor part features using conventional support structures and reduces the requirements for post-print finishing of parts (typically including wire EDM and machining), the organization says. This simplifies the process and helps reduce the infrastructure needed to print metal parts. The award is named after the late additive manufacturing pioneer and innovator Dick Aubin.  

In the 2016 Design for Direct Digital Manufacturing Competition, high school and college designers and engineers were challenged to take an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design, and by applying additive manufacturing, improve on it. Contestants chose from designs available in the public domain. The award was sponsored by SME's Direct Digital Manufacturing Tech Group. The winners, from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, were students Tito Arana, Jordan Castillo, Michael Gager, Dan Stellaand Joanel Vasquez, along with their academic advisor, Stephen Johnston, PhD.

Their winning design illustrated a way to help reduce operational impact and increase efficiency in data collection of bridge evaluation and worker safety. The utilization of AM improved weight efficiency and structural optimization.

Potential impact

The RAPID Innovation Award, sponsored by Stratasys, recognized the new products or services exhibited at RAPID judged to have the greatest potential impact on the industry. The finalists were 3DSIM, Additive Industries, Essentium Materials and HP Inc with the overall winner being Essentium, which introduced a new and innovative method for welding thermoplastic interfaces of 3D-printed parts using the extreme heating response of nanoparticles. 

This story is reprinted from material from the SME, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.