The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) announced that the US Department of Energy (DOE) has renewed the institution’s funding for R&D into the manufacturing of advanced composite materials. The renewal will extend IACMI’s federal funding for five more years, with $6 million slated for the first year.
According to IACMI, the new grant makes the Knoxville, Tenn.-based organization “the first clean energy institute” to have its funding renewed by the DOE. The IACMI, established in 2015, is one of 16 organizations that comprise the Manufacturing USA network — originally called the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) — administered by the DOE, Department of Defense (DOD), and Department of Commerce (DOC).
The IACMI’s focus throughout its eight-year history thus far has been to centralize, expand, and help commercialize the US’s progressing knowledge base concerning latest-generation methods for designing, producing, and using composite-based materials. Among other milestones achieved, IACMI claims that its activities have spurred the commercialization of over 25 new composite-based products, and led to 3,000 jobs created at companies that make composites and composite-based parts.
The DOE’s signaling long-term confidence in composite-based materials for decarbonization, specifically, is writing on the wall that every additive manufacturing (AM) company needs to be able to read. Bluntly, everyone in the sector needs to calm down about metal.
The capacity to print with metal is certainly improving at a rapid rate, and will continue to do so into the future. On the other hand, as long as both academia and the private sector keep improving the performance potential of advanced composites, the increase of composite-based materials that can perform as well or better than metals for the same functions will continue.
In that case, it’s difficult to imagine that long-term, and on an aggregate level, metal materials will outperform composites in the area of sustainability. So metal AM will likely keep carving out an impressive niche for itself, but in terms of economy of scale, composites are the future.
Images courtesy of IACMI
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
Over 20B Aerospace Parts to Be 3D Printed by 2030 – AMR’s Chart of the Week
The “Chart of the Week” from Additive Manufacturing Research (“AMR”, formerly SmarTech Analysis) is a weekly segment that offers readers a dive into the additive manufacturing (AM) landscape, showcasing pivotal statistics and...
German Automotive Giant MAN Truck & Bus Taps Replique for 3D Printed Spare Parts
MAN Truck & Bus, the Munich-based, leading producer of commercial vehicles, has collaborated with BASF spin-out Replique, a digital manufacturing platform also based in Germany, to 3D print spare parts....
Siemens and Stratasys to Boost CT Scanning Efficacy with 3D Printing
3D printing stalwart Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS) has partnered with Siemens Healthineers to advance medical imaging phantoms used in computed tomography (CT) imaging. The partnership aims to harness 3D printing...
Ricoh Partners with Materialise to Enhance 3D Printing in Hospitals
Ricoh (TYO: 7752) announced a partnership with Materialise (Nasdaq: MTLS) at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2023 event. This collaboration aims to make 3D printing more accessible and...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.