3D Systems announced today that it has been awarded two research contracts worth over $1 million dollars to develop advanced aerospace and defence 3D printing manufacturing capabilities.
These contracts set to commence in early 2015 are administered by America Makes (the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute) and funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
The two partnerships leverage the company’s proprietary Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Direct Metal 3D Printing (DMP) portfolio to meet the most demanding advanced manufacturing needs of the United States Air Force.
“The collaborative and forward looking initiative of America Makes members is driving extraordinary strides in 3D printing centric advanced manufacturing for this important industry,” commented Ralph Resnick, America Makes founding director and executive director. “America Makes is grateful for the support and funding from AFRL to enable important research like this.”
America Makes, awarded more than $2.2 million in AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division funding towards three projects with $998K in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $3.12 million.
Example of 3D Systems SLS aluminium filled parts for heat resistance and tough performance applications.
The first contract is led by 3DS, in partnership with the University of Delaware’s Centre for Composite Manufacturing, Sandia National Laboratory and Lockheed Martin Corporation. The project is designed to integrate predictive technologies with 3DS’ SLS 3D printers to dynamically monitor parts at the layer level during the manufacturing process, ensuring optimum accuracy and repeatability of manufactured aerospace parts.
The second contract, in collaboration with the Applied Research Laboratory of Pennsylvania State University in partnership with Honeywell International and Northrop Grumman Corporation, leverages 3DS’ Direct Metal 3D printing. As a result of this project, aerospace and defence manufacturers will gain full control of every aspect of the direct metal manufacturing process at the layer level, delivering fully dense, chemically pure, flight worthy metals parts.
“These important research projects will position leading industry manufacturers to 3D print high-performance precision parts at convincing scale with enhanced functionality,” said Neal Orringer, Vice President of Alliances & Partnerships, 3DS. “3D Systems pioneered the use of advanced manufacturing for aerospace and defence applications and is proud to work with such esteemed partners to further advance these technologies and meet and exceed the future demands of the Air Force.”