America Makes Announces Third Round AM Project Call Winners


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America-Makes_OHThe third project call from America Makes, this one released in February, focused on projects which surround additive manufacturing topics – design, materials, processes, value chains and genomic – and each included subset focus areas as well.

The proposals were allowed to address one or more of the high level technical topic areas, but each was required to address a full list of evaluation criteria.

Rob Gorham, the America Makes Director of Operations, says the project call was aimed at selecting projects that would pack a punch.

“This project call is indicative of the ongoing commitment of America Makes and our membership community to collectively target those focus areas that represent the greatest need, demonstrate the greatest impact, and show the most promise for commercialization of critical additive manufacturing technologies for the advancement of our industry at large,” said Gorham.

logo_america_makes2The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute will provide up to $8 million as part of this third project call for AM applied research and development projects to the nine winning project teams, driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). Matching cost shares of $11 million from the awarded project teams result in total funding of $19 million.

America Makes say the projects are expected to begin work this summer.

Tim Caffrey, a senior consultant at Wohlers Associates Inc., was a member of the proposal committee evaluation team.

“I was struck by both the total number of submissions and the high quality of the proposals. Specifically, the proposals demonstrated close alignment to America Makes’ mission and to its Technology Roadmap objectives, which is a testament to the maturity of the member proposal teams,” Caffrey says.

awardsThe nine projects chosen for funding include:

Parametric Design of Functional Support Structures for Metal Alloy Feedstocks from the University of Pittsburgh working in conjunction with Johnson & Johnson, ITAMCO and the University of Notre Dame. The project is aimed at developing parametric designs for functional support structures used in creating metal alloy feedstocks.

Multidisciplinary Design Analysis for Seamless AM Design, Analysis, Build, and Redesign Workflows from Raytheon in conjunction with General Electric, Altair, ANSYS, Autodesk, NetFabb, the University of Wisconsin and the Raytheon-University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Institute. Focused on multidisciplinary design analysis for seamless additive design, analysis, build, and redesign workflows, the outcome is hoped to help streamline the AM design process for engineers and technicians developing mass-customizable, engineered solutions.

Economic Production of Next Generation Orthopedic Materials through Powder Reuse in AM by the University of Notre Dame working with Case Western Reserve University, SCM Metal Products, Zimmer, and DePuy Synthes addresses the economical production of orthopedic materials via powder reuse and additive manufacturing.

Integrated Design Tool Development for High Potential AM Applications was led by the University of Pittsburgh working in conjunction with ANSYS, United Technologies Research Center, Honeywell, Materials Science Corporation, Aerotech, ExOne, RTI International Metals and the US Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. The project team will develop an integrated design suite – with built-in design aides – to be used to meet various advanced manufacturing requirements.

A Flexible Adaptive Open Architecture to Enable a Robust Third-Party Ecosystem for Metal Powder Bed Fusion AM Systems was entered by GE Global Research working in conjunction with GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and MatterFab. The project will develop and demonstrate open architecture control systems for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing processes.

Digital Threading of AM was led by Boeing, in conjunction with Aerojet and Raytheon. The “digital threading” referred to in this project what the developers say is an “art-to-part” integrated process and tools to reduce cost and cycle time through minimizing material deposition, component finishing processes and the application of automation between process steps.

A Design Guidance System for AM was entered by the Georgia Institute of Technology, and working in conjunction with Siemens Corporate Technology, MSC, Senvol, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas at Arlington, Lockheed Martin, GKN Aerospace, Woodward, Siemens Energy and Siemens PLM, the project team says they’ll address a number of gaps and deficiencies in the manufacturing design to print workflow with a “design guidance system” for advanced manufacturing.

Cyber-Physical Design and AM of Custom Orthoses. This project, led by the University of Michigan working in conjunction with Altair Product Design and Stratasys, is meant to streamline the digital workflow for advanced manufacturing design through the development of manufacturing-specific functionality. The project will also result in key improvements in throughput and material offerings which used fused deposition modeling technology to produce customized, ankle and foot orthoses.

A Low-cost Industrial Multi3D System for 3D Electronics Manufacturing, a project led by the University of Texas at El Paso working  with Northrop Grumman, Stratasys, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Honeywell and Draper Laboratory, will deploy the next generation of AM technology into a low-cost, industrial, multi-3D system for 3D electronics manufacturing processes.

As the nation’s accelerator for additive manufacturing and 3D printing, America Makes is tasked with functioning as the leading collaborative partner to structure public-private partnerships with member organizations from industry, academia, government, and workforce and economic development resources.

“As a membership community,” John Wilczynski, America Makes’ Deputy Director of Technology Development, said, “America Makes is addressing and overcoming known additive manufacturing challenges by working on innovative solutions that can be rapidly transitioned and commercialized. The response to Project Call #3 was outstanding and we are excited to get these awarded projects underway.”

What do you think about the America Makes initiative? Let us know in the America Makes Winning Projects forum thread on


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