America Makes Announces IMPACT 2.0: $6.6M in New 3D Printing Funding


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America Makes, the Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) based in Youngstown, Ohio, has announced IMPACT (Improvement in Manufacturing Productivity via Additive Capabilities and Techno-Economic Analysis) 2.0, a project call which will grant $6.6 million in funding to seven different topic areas in additive manufacturing (AM). As with the first IMPACT project call, IMPACT 2.0 emphasizes AM-enabled enhancements of the domestic US casting and forging supply chains.

For instance, IMPACT awardees included a diverse range of teams from think tanks and academia, private industry, and the government with expertise in deploying AM for applications like repairing forging dies and accelerating the use of ceramic AM for investment casting. Similarly, Topic 2 from IMPACT 2.0 calls for teams to submit proposals for projects that can develop ways to “Disseminate Leading Practices and Promote the Adoption of 3D-Printed Sand Molds/Cores”, for up to $1.5 million in funding.

Graphic depicting one of the winning proposals from last year’s IMPACT project call, submitted by Wichita State University (WSU). Image courtesy of WSU

The major difference between IMPACT and IMPACT 2.0 is that, for the latter, three of the topics will be based on concepts that applicants propose. In that vein, while submissions for Part A (Topics 1-4) are due by 5 PM Eastern on June 14, 2024, submissions for the three awards available for Part B (“Rapid Casting Demonstration Challenge”) require two steps:

  • First, by 5 PM Eastern, May 13, applicants will have to submit the concepts for their proposals related to a demonstration of an AM application that can speed up casting manufacturing;
  • Second, once America Makes has reviewed the concept proposals, the organization will invite select participants to submit full proposals by 5 PM Eastern, June 24.

The drastic increase in lead times for parts used to make castings and forgings has, of course, been particularly challenging for the defense industrial base. In turn, applications for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) in casting and forging supply chains represent one of the AM industry’s biggest opportunities for growth right now, a trajectory that should continue to become more pronounced for the foreseeable future.

This area of heavy industry should also be ripe for the development of dual-use applications, those with both military and civilian relevance. Such applications, and the technologies that enable them, are of high priority not only to the US government, but increasingly, to its NATO allies in the EU, as well.

Anyone interested in learning more about the pivotal intersection between AM and the US defense industrial base should tune in to a TRX webinar on Wednesday, April 17, between 2 PM and 3 PM Eastern, titled, “3DP/AM Market Data and Forecasting: 2023 Review and 2024 Preview”, co-hosted by myself and AM Research’s Scott Dunham.

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