Elementum 3D awarded $2,875,000 to expand availability of statistically based industrially relevant AM material.
Elementum 3D, a leading developer and supplier of metal additive manufacturing (AM) advanced materials, print parameters, and services, is pleased to announce America Makes selected its proposal, aimed at qualifying its commercially available, high-strength A7050-RAM2 aluminum additive manufacturing feedstock, for funding under the “Proliferation of AM Materials Datasets” project call.
The program’s goal is to generate material property datasets with high statistical power for industrially relevant aluminum and nickel alloys, with a focus on accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing in the American aerospace, automotive, defense, and energy sectors. With these data sets in place, engineers can confidently apply these materials for critical applications with an extremely low tolerance for failure.
Heading the project, Elementum 3D will incorporate products and services from additive manufacturing software, hardware, and researchers, including:
- Castheon, Inc.
- Dyndrite Corporation
- Eaton Corporation
- EOS North America
- Incodema, Inc.
- National Institute for Aviation Research
- Product Evaluation Systems, Inc.
- The Ohio State University Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence
- Westmoreland Mechanical Testing and Research
Dr. Jacob Nuechterlein, Elementum 3D president and founder, emphasized the impact of America Makes’ commitment to advancing AM material datasets, stating, “America Makes’ push to advance AM material datasets is monumental for the manufacturing industry. It stimulates greater confidence in high-strength aluminum print quality and broadens the AM supply chain. We are excited to join forces with the other awardees. Together, our expansive knowledge and expertise in materials development establishes the future of AM materials.”
Manufacturers consistently express the need for access to lightweight, high-strength aluminum materials that offer excellent fatigue and stress corrosion cracking resistance for rapid on-demand components. This is why Elementum 3D’s printable A7050-RAM2 is so well regarded and earned the gold medal in the 2020 US Air Force Advanced Manufacturing Olympics first-ever “Material Hurdles” event.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering Manufacturing Technology Office (OSD(R&E)) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) funded this project. The program awards Elementum 3D with project cost reimbursements up to $2,875,000. Elementum 3D and consortium partners will commit at least 50% of this amount as cost share, for a total project effort of more than $4.2 million.
Results of this America Makes program will be available to America Makes members as well as the U.S. Government.
Members of the diverse project team recognize the importance of this America Makes-funded effort. Below are comments from awardees.
“Most industries are just beginning to see the opportunities provided by additive manufacturing,” said Steve Walton, head of product, Dyndrite, “Broader adoption of additive manufacturing in critical industries like defense, energy, and aerospace has been hampered by lack of public, traceable, statistically significant data sets that characterize high value materials. We look forward to working alongside Elementum 3D and America Makes to reverse this paradigm. We are helping to proliferate knowledge that enables new solutions through the adoption of additive manufacturing.”
As a part of this project, Dyndrite will provide copies of its LPBF Pro software to enable rapid build preparation, materials and process development, and report generation for qualifications for the EOS metal 3D printing machines selected for this effort. LPBF Pro will largely automate the process of generating additive material data sets, traditionally a tedious manual task. the software will also improve the process of communicating methodology and achieving repeatable results, also a traditionally user-error-prone process.
Product Evaluation Systems
“Product Evaluation Systems, Inc. (PES) is honored to partner with Elementum 3D in support of America Makes and their initiative to generate design-allowable databases for additively manufactured (AM) aluminum. It is exciting to collaborate with Elementum 3D once again in their continued growth and development of AM materials and components. PES has played a critical role in mechanical, metallurgical, and chemical characterization of additively produced parts, and has been a long-time supporter of Elementum 3D and America Makes in advancing domestic manufacturing capabilities. Developing A7050-RAM2 aluminum datasets will enable faster, more confident transitions of such materials into the ever-expanding world of additive manufacturing and engineering. We are grateful to America Makes and Elementum 3D for the opportunity to support this important project.”
EOS North America
“We congratulate Elementum 3D on their selection for the America Makes Proliferation of AM Material Datasets, and EOS is proud to play a significant supporting role in the initiative,” said Yash Parikh, process engineering consultant at EOS. “We are dedicated to the project through our cost-sharing pledge and steadfast commitment to realizing the desired production results for customers and are thrilled to embark on this project as an esteemed research partner, with a focus on providing guidance on qualification and best practices to expedite it.”
The Ohio State University
“Ohio State’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence recognizes the AM industry’s need for high-strength aluminum alloys and has been actively trying to solve the related challenges for years. We are excited to help push material datasets forward so our partners at the Department of Defense can better meet their sustainment goals,” said John Middendorf, PhD, director of additive manufacturing | CDME, OSU College of Engineering.
Castheon, an ADDMAN Group Company, is excited to provide statistically relevant data for part design utilizing Aluminum A7050-RAM2. Aerospace clients often require high-strength aluminum alloys, facilitating the consolidation of functional and structural components. Mark Saberton, ADDMAN’s chief technical officer, emphasizes, “As Castheon expands manufacturing operations to address the increasing demand for Additive Manufacturing, the expansion of data sets for this high-performance material stands as a significant milestone. This will empower our customers to expedite the development of innovative designs and system integration.”
Eaton is excited to partner with Elementum 3D to develop a design allowable dataset for their A7050-RAM2 material. Generating allowables based on new C/D basis guidelines from MMPDS enables Eaton to more quickly and cost effectively develop superior additive manufacturing solutions to some of our most stubborn design challenges. “We have been impressed by the performance of the A7050-RAM2 material and are excited about possible applications in our extensive aluminum portfolio,” said Eaton Aerospace’s Director of Additive Manufacturing and Digital Design, Mike York. “A printable, high-strength aluminum allows Eaton to bring to market superior product solutions that are lighter, better performing, and more sustainable than conventional counterparts.”
Eaton brings significant experience developing and deploying statistically based material allowables for a variety of metal additive manufacturing processes, including L-PBF, EB-PBF, and cold spray for aluminum, titanium, and stainless-steel materials. Eaton hopes to provide guidance on aerospace product qualification expectations for both military and commercial platforms, including regulatory bodies such as the FAA and EASA.
About America Makes
America Makes is the nation’s leading public-private partnership for additive manufacturing (AM) technology and education. America Makes members from industry, academia, government, workforce and economic development organizations, work together to accelerate the adoption of AM and the nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness. Founded in 2012 as the Department of Defense’s national manufacturing innovation institute for AM and first of the Manufacturing USA network, America Makes is based in Youngstown, Ohio, and managed by the not-for-profit National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). Visit americamakes.us to learn more.