US Air Force Uses Senvol ML Software to Qualify Multi-Laser 3D Printing Systems

Share this Article

Over the last few years, Senvol, which provides data to help companies implement additive manufacturing into their workflows, has put a good deal of focus into military applications. Back in 2017, the US Air Force licensed the Senvol Database for integration into the enterprise software platform for Materials Research for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Now, its data-driven machine learning software suite for AM, Senvol ML, will be used to help with a collaborative USAF program between the AFRL and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), both located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base east of Dayton, Ohio.

The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), a national leader in scientific and engineering research, is the main contractor on the program, which is working to create methodology that will demonstrate airworthiness of multi-laser AM systems.

“AM has recently demonstrated the ability to rapidly deliver complex geometries and production quality parts that are able to enhance the capabilities of DoD weapons systems,” said Jessica Orr, the Program Manager and Materials Engineering Team Leader for AM & Repair Technologies at UDRI. “A major challenge facing the use of AM for producing DoD relevant end-use parts is that the number of available large scale printers is likely to be limited for the next 5-10 years. In this collaborative program we are developing and demonstrating methodology to use a new multi-laser AM printer to produce airworthy, end-use parts.”

The Senvol ML suite helps companies characterize, or qualify, AM materials and processes. This program is titled “FlexSpecs,” and will work to qualify the EOS M400-4, a four laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) 3D printing system.

EOS M400-4

“We’re thrilled to work with UDRI, AFRL, and AFLCMC on this program. Our machine learning software, Senvol ML, is well-suited to assist with AM qualification, and this is a great example of that,” stated Senvol President Annie Wang. “In addition to helping to develop baseline mechanical properties and design allowables, the software will analyze data to evaluate laser-to-laser consistency, optimize bulk scan settings, identify preferred overlap patterns and parameters, and confirm uniformity over the entire build plate.”

The collaborative partners will use Senvol ML software to help set up the characterization plan and process optimization for the FlexSpecs program, and also to analyze all of the project data.

The AFRL is in charge of discovery, development, and integration of affordable war-fighting technologies for the US air, space, and cyberspace forces, while the AFLCMC, one of six centers reporting to the Air Force Materiel Command, offers life cycle management and sustainment of all the weapon systems, from start to finish, of the USAF. Together with UDRI, these organizations will work to qualify the EOS M400-4 printer, creating design allowables and baseline mechanical properties, in addition to completing demonstration builds of heat exchangers and parts that are relevant to hypersonics.

“The overall objective of this program is to successfully demonstrate full scale M400, multi-laser prints of heat exchangers as well as hypersonics-relevant parts,” explained Dr. Mark Benedict, Materials Scientist and Program Manager in the Propulsion, Structures & Industrial Technologies Branch, Manufacturing Technology Division, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL, Air Force Materiel Command. “This is an area of need for the Air Force, and we look forward to the results.”

According to Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin, the hypersonic market is the main development priority for the Pentagon, and is predicted to have sales of over $5 billion by the mid-2020s. So if additive manufacturing can be used to make qualified parts for this application, that’s excellent news for the Air Force.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

Share this Article


Recent News

Desktop Metal Buys 3D Printing Resin Maker Adaptive3D

Laser Sintering 3D Printer Firm Farsoon Expands into Japan



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Guns

3D Printer Reviews


You May Also Like

Satori Set to Launch Kickstarter Campaign for New Industrial Resin 3D Printer

London-based tech company Satori launched its first resin 3D printer, the compact yet professional ST1600, in October of 2020, and introduced a partnership program at the same time in order...

Virtual Review: the Formlabs Fuse 1 SLS 3D Printer

The desktop fused filament fabrication (FFF) movement quickly saw a proliferation of low-cost FFF systems, which was followed by a similar trend with desktop vat photopolymerization machines. The low-cost selective...

3D Printed T-Rex Replica “Trix” to be Displayed at Japanese Dinosaur Museum

3D scanning and 3D printing technologies have been used many times in the past to learn more about the diverse group of reptiles we call dinosaurs that walked the earth...

Sponsored

Modular 3D solutions are the future of additive manufacturing

Why is it important to maintain the most open additive manufacturing environment available? In uncertain times, the elasticity and the possibility of selecting components of a 3D printing system are...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.