America Makes says that is spearheading a project focused on accelerating of large scale additive manufacturing (AM). It wants to overcome any problems surrounding selective laser melting (SLM) AM that are delaying the wider adoption of the technology for production.

Along with the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes plans to fund around US$2.1 million for the project with at least US$525K in matching funds from the awarded project teams for total funding worth roughly $2.6 million.

According the association, of SLM technology can produce defense components with complex shapes made from a multitude of alloys, featuring high mechanical properties and fine microstructures. However, the small build volumes and lengthy production times of single laser SLM machines are hindering their use. While single-laser SLM machines are entering the market with increased build volumes, a strategy for developing multi-laser machines is required.

‘There’s no question that understanding multi-laser interaction will be a crucial step toward the ability to produce large scale components, which continues to be a need voiced loudly by industry, specifically the energy, defense, and automotive sectors,’ said John Wilczynski, America Makes technology director.

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