Elementum 3D’s aluminum alloy awarded first Gold Medal from AMO

Amo Gold Medal With E3D Logo 1

On October 23, 2020, the U.S. Air Force’s inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Olympics (AMO) event Technical Challenges winners were announced. Elementum 3D was selected as the event’s first ever Gold Medalist by winning the “Material Hurdles” challenge with their A7050-RAM2 high-strength aluminum alloy!

The AMO competition, hosted by the USAF Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO), comprised 64 teams competing in five technical challenges for AMO medals and the chance to win up to $100,000. The entrants were each evaluated on their ability to solve some of the U.S. Air Force’s most significant sustainment issues. The Technical Challenges were judged by 25 subject matter experts from academia, the U.S. Military (Air Force, Army, and Navy), the Federal Aviation Administration, Ford, Amazon, and aerospace and defense companies. The four-day virtual event held October 20 through 23, 2020, was filled with compelling speakers, insightful sessions, exciting technology demos, and networking.

Elementum 3D, a developer and supplier of advanced metal additive manufacturing powders and processes, chose their new high-strength A7050-RAM2 powder to compete against eight other aluminum materials finalists in the “Material Hurdles” challenge. “We are honored to have our commercially available high-strength A7050-RAM2 aluminum alloy selected as the AM material to best meet the USAF’s challenge goal of demonstrating advances in AM aluminum material properties to address sustainment of traditionally manufactured 7075 and 7050 aluminum parts,” said Dr. Jacob Nuechterlein, President and founder of Elementum 3D.

Amo Parts W 7050 Bottle

Each team was required to accurately recreate the same 3D printed parts from an existing Technical Data Package using innovative materials and techniques, all while demonstrating accuracy, skill, completeness, ease of use, and speed of production. “We entered our A7050-RAM2 aluminum alloy to deliver on the AMO event’s initiative to obtain a material capable of being 3D printed into components for use in demanding Air Force conditions,” said Dr. Nuechterlein.

The USAF is working to adopt additively manufactured aluminums because of their potential for rapid on-demand production of high strength sustainment parts. Accomplishing this goal also facilitates reduction of component weights and reduced raw material requirements due to improved buy-to-fly ratios. By adopting AM and other forms of advanced manufacturing, the RSO can cut down on sustainment costs which make up 70 percent of the USAF budget. Elementum 3D’s printable A7050-RAM2 feedstock supports these goals by enabling efficient 3D printing of components out of a lightweight and high-strength aluminum material that also offers excellent fatigue life and stress corrosion cracking resistance.

The U.S. Air Force has a long history of fostering innovative solutions and these AM Olympics technical challenges were the latest means in generating transformative opportunities within advanced manufacturing. It sets in motion the USAF’s willingness to embrace leading edge solutions making for a more sustainable Air Force.

Congratulations to all the AMO’s Materials Hurdles Challenge medalists:

Gold: Elementum 3D, Inc. 
Silver: University of Waterloo and The Barnes Global Advisors, LLC
Bronze: Castheon, Inc.  

Jamie Perozzi

VP of Technology 6K Additive

Mr. Perozzi has 20+ years of specialty metals experience with a focus on process, new product development, product management, and application engineering. Before joining 6K, Perozzi spent seven years at AMETEK Specialty Metal Products responsible for quality and process engineering. Prior to Ametek, he spent 10 years at Hitachi Metals – Metglas and 3 years at J&L Specialty Steel. Perozzi holds a BS Metallurgical Engineering degree from Penn State University.

Dr. Timothy Smith

Materials Research Engineer NASA Glenn Research Center

Tim Smith graduated with a PhD in materials science and engineering from Ohio State University in 2016. After graduating, his pathways internship at NASA Glenn research center became a full-time position. His research focuses on high temperature alloy development and characterization. He has contributed to 29 peer-reviewed publications including journals in Nature Communications and Nature Communications Materials. His research has also produced 10 new technology reports and 3 utility patents. He recently received both the Early Career Achievement Medal in 2020 and the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2022.

Dr. Douglas Hoffman

Senior Research Scientist (SRS)/ Principal Section Technologist NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Douglas Hofmann is a Senior Research Scientist and Principal at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he serves as the Section Technologist for the Mechanical Fabrication and Test Section. He is also a Lecturer and Visiting Associate at Caltech in the Applied Physics and Materials Science Department. Dr. Hofmann founded JPL’s Metallurgy Facility in 2010, was a charter member of the Materials Development and Manufacturing Technology Group, and helped establish the JPL Additive Manufacturing Center. He is the Principal Investigator of the NASA FAMIS Flight Experiment and was a 2012 recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama. He has spent more than 12 years working in metal additive manufacturing and has over 30 granted patents and over 60 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Jacob Nuechterlein

President/Founder Elementum 3D

Dr. Jacob Nuechterlein is the founder and president of Elementum 3D in Erie, CO. He earned his Bachelor of Engineering, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy at the Colorado School of Mines. Jacob has been researching, teaching, or consulting on topics such as casting and powder metallurgy for the last 14 years. Elementum 3D’s work with powder bed laser additive manufacturing is based on these principles. In addition, is thesis work in thermodynamics and formation kinetics of metal matrix composites is directly related to all 3D printing processes.