US 3D printing institute America Makes has announced the seven projects covering additive manufacturing (AM) that will receive funding of US$5.5 million.

The money will be matched by funds from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $US11 million.

The Institute’s fourth project call, which was released in March 2016, was focused on design, material, process, value chain, and ‘AM genome’.

The seven projects are as followed.

‘Optimal Design and AM of Complex Internal Core Structures for High Performance Aerial Vehicle Production’, Carnegie Mellon University

Led by Carnegie Mellon University, in conjunction with Automated Dynamics Corporation, Aurora Flight Sciences, Lockheed Martin, Siemens Corporation, Stratasys Inc and United Technologies Corporation, this project will develop a computational system and educational materials for the optimal design and AM of 3D core (i.e., tooling) structures central in the aerospace industry. This project aims to overcome the challenges faced during the current manual design of and fabrication of core structures using conventional methods, as well as the subsequent performance of said structures. Solutions will be developed using ?nite element methods, non-linear high-dimensional improvement, and design for AM (DFAM).

‘Multi-functional Big Area AM (BAAM): BAAM with Multi-purpose Wire Embedding’, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)

Led by UTEP, in conjunction with Cincinnati Incorporated and Autodesk Inc, this project will strive to improve AM build volumes and production rates by exploring the combined capability of large-scale AM with wire embedding due to its ability to introduce wire harness features directly into structural components. Wire embedding in 3D for large-scale AM will require a two-fold approach with the development of hardware and software solutions. In parallel efforts, this project will develop software solutions that will enable the conversion of 3D wire patterns into five-axis motion toolpaths that can be executed by the BAAM + wire embedding machine and integrate wire embedding technology into the BAAM machine.

‘MULTI: Source/FeedStock/Meter-Scale METAL AM Machine’, Wolf Robotics, LLC, A Lincoln Electric Company

Led by Wolf Robotics, in conjunction with Caterpillar Inc, EWI, GKN Aerospace, IPG Photonics Corporation, ITAMCO, Lincoln Electric Company, Oak Ridge National Lab, United Technologies Corporation, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this project will position the AM industrial user base to take advantage of the lower cost and increased flexibility associated with scalable, multi-axis (nine and above) robot systems. The project team will build upon an existing alpha generation CAD to Path AM Robotic Software tool, test and refine the CAD to Path tool for a commercial first release, and conduct basic process testing to bundle it with a multi-process, multi-meter, multi-material, production-ready robot-based 3DP system. Upon project conclusion, it is anticipated that a commercially available, multi-planer CAD to Path Software Tool will be developed.


‘Biomimetic Multi-jet Materials’, 3D Systems Corporation

Led by 3D Systems Corporation, in conjunction with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and the United States Army Research Laboratory (ARL), this project will endeavor to develop physiologic-like printable materials for multi-jet printing (MJP) to address the current lack of printable materials suitable for biomimetic modeling within the healthcare field. Specifically, the project will deliver standardized feedstock materials, benchmark property data, microstructure control, process window definition, and processing specifications. The project team’s technical approach will be tailored to meet specific market requirements, following the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines for medical device development. In addition to standard MJP material and chemical characterization, the project team will also leverage ARL resources to assess mechanical properties corresponding to physiological attributes.

 ‘A Non-Empirical Predictive Model for AM Lattice Structures’, Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies Inc

Led by Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc, in conjunction with Arizona State University, Honeywell International Inc, LAI International, Inc, and Howard A.Kuhn, PhD, this project will focus on lattice structure design and manufacturing by developing material model that accurately describes how they behave with the goal of elevating the performance of theses complex structure at reduced material utilization. Three AM processes, fused deposition modeling, laser-bed powder bed fusion, and electron beam melting, will be addressed, using thermoplastic and metal materials. Specifically, a physics-based, geometry-independent model that can predict 3D-printed lattice structure stiffness and failure for use in design optimization and simulation will be developed and validated.

 ‘AM for Metal Casting (AM4MC)’, Youngstown Business Incubator

Led by the Youngstown Business Incubator, in conjunction with the American Foundry Society, Ford Motor Company, Humtown Products, Northeast Iowa Community College, Pennsylvania State University (ARL), Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC, Tinker Omega Mfg LLC, the University of Northern Iowa, and Youngstown State University, this project will strive to transform the US industrial base via the development of next-generation sand printers that offer line speed production of printed cores and molds that are also economically viable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to procure and integrate into full production lines. To transform metal casting via large-scale integration of AM technology, components need to be designed without the constraints of conventional manufacturing and then produced economically via these next-gen printers. This project will focus on the development of a next-gen production sand printer and knowledge-based design tools to overcome production barriers.

‘Multi-material 3D Printing of Electronics and Structures’, Raytheon

Led by Raytheon, in conjunction with General Electric Company (GE), nScrypt, Rogers Corporation, UMass-Lowell (UML) Research Institute (RURI) and the University of South Florida, this project will seek to advance AM from 2D-constrained designs to conformal and embedded solutions to enable multi-material printing of integrated 3D electronics and non-planar structures as the commercial, aerospace, biomedical, and defense industries have many applications that could benefit from novel, dense, and affordable 3D electronic packaging. The project team will apply its strength in printed electronics through an integrated system approach to improve and characterize 3D printing of multi-material and embedded electronics by working across the supply chain (inks, materials, printers, design, and control software) to establish a best practices baseline. 

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.