DARPA Vector Logo.eps3D printing industry leader 3D Systems announced that they have formed a partnership with  the Pennsylvania State University to research and further develop direct metal printing technology. The research will take place at the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) which acts as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s official demonstration facility for additive manufacturing technology. In addition to DARPA, they are also a major section of the Department of Defence network of university research centers and heavily support the aerospace and defense industries.

Metal part printed using 3D Systems ProX DMP 3D printer.

Metal part printed using 3D Systems ProX DMP 3D printer.

The lab will be populated by a team of direct metal printing experts from both Penn State and 3D Systems, who will continue developing 3DS’ current ProX Direct Metal Printing (DMP) technology. The goal of the partnership is to continue to advance and develop the creation of high-resolution DMP technology and to provide training using 3DS’ existing DMP technology for use by the US defense and aerospace companies. It will also enable DARPA and other government agencies, like the Navy, Air Force and America Makes, to sponsor defense contractor projects that require the use DMP technologies.

“We are extremely excited by the prospect of establishing true collaboration with a leading U.S. 3D printing technology provider. Fostered by the joint technical resources of 3D Systems and CIMP-3D, our goal is to develop and provide enablers for the adoption of additive manufacturing for critical applications to the DoD and U.S. industry,” said Penn State’s Director of the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition, Dr. Richard Martukanitz.

The team comprised of Penn State and 3DS researchers are currently running several government-funded projects using DMP technology. They are working with the US Air Force to incorporate DMP technology into the manufacturing workflow of the largest provider of aircraft engines Honeywell Aerospace, focused specifically on the production and rapid qualifying of 3D printed metal parts. They are also working to integrate quality control monitoring equipment for 3D printed metal parts on the production lines of Honeywell and their fellow defense manufacturer Northrop Grumman. The team will also help implement similar programs at key development and production centers for projects sponsored by the US Navy.3dp_3ds_pennstate_3dscube

“The CIMP-3D is a great national institution and we are honored to be working with Penn State to advance American innovation and national security through direct metal printing technology. We are eager to welcome aerospace and defense companies at every tier of the supply chain, as well as key defense labs, to join us as we revolutionize manufacturing,” said Neal Orringer, the Vice President of Alliances and Partnerships for 3D Systems.

3dp_3ds_pennstate_penn_logoOn October 7th and 8th, CIMP-3D will host the Technology Exchange on Coordination of U.S. Standards Development for Additive Manufacturing which will connect industry and government agencies to begin the process of developing national and industry additive manufacturing standards. Previous to this on October the 6th 3D Systems and Penn State will invite DoD DMP users to their Government Users Group to discuss metal additive manufacturing and take a tour the CIMP-3D facility. CIMP-3D regularly hosts industry practicums and technology exchanges and acts as a go between for government agencies, industry groups and businesses.

CIMP-3D is an integral segment of the relationship between the manufacturing companies and the aerospace and defense industries and government. Not only do they research and develop new 3D printing technologies, but they help develop ways to integrate it into existing manufacturing processes and workflows. Additionally. the center acts as an “honest broker” between the government agencies, industry leaders and the developers of 3D printing technology by selecting, demonstrating, and validating the technology for use in government sponsored projects.

What are your thoughts on this partnership?  Let us know in the 3D Systems / PSU / DARPA forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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