Close this search box.

January 2024

Momentum header 2024
Product Update

America Makes Selects Elementum 3D to Lead “Proliferation of AM Aluminum Alloy Material Datasets” Team

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.

America Makes Logo

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:

●   Battelle

●   Castheon, Inc.

●   Dyndrite Corporation

●   Eaton Corporation

●   EOS North America

●   Incodema3D, 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.

A7050-Ram2 Micrograph

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.

Customer Success Header

TRUMPF and Elementum 3D exceed international bike company's additive manufacturing expectations

The extreme competition in mountain bike manufacturing is just as mind-boggling as mountain bike racing. It has propelled the industry deeper into the world of 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM). The elite manufacturers are optimizing bike designs in ways that engineers have only dreamed of producing.

INTENSE, a world-renowned international bicycle company headquartered in California, is one of those dreamers. They specialize in producing top quality carbon fiber and aluminum mountain bikes and have been setting the competitive mountain bike world on fire with precise craftmanship and excellence in performance for three decades.

Jeff Steber, INTENSE founder and CEO, is also a designer, artist and craftsman, with a hands-on approach. He supports the trend to integrate additive manufacturing in the production of bike parts. “I work and ‘think’ in aluminum, so AM has opened a whole new world of creative opportunities for me and my team. We like to say that INTENSE ‘merges artistry with engineering,’ and now I am no longer limited to metal sheets and tubes, I have the freedom to create almost any shape I want,” said Jeff.

To reach their expectations of excellence with their latest M1 downhill bike, one of the most respected in the sport, they set their sights on designing and producing the M1’s frame backbone out of one piece of 6061 aluminum, which is critical for maximum performance of their frame suspension. The innovative design included internal ribbing, making it stronger and lighter, but the challenge was machining a robust structural backbone out of one piece of aluminum. This turned out to be impossible with traditional machining.

Intense Parts With Captions

Undeterred, the INTENSE production team looked to the AM process as a solution. They chose to team up with TRUMPF, a high-tech company that offers a broad range of manufacturing solutions including 3D printers. TRUMPF was selected because they offer a reliable and robust AM solution. But what closed the deal for INTENSE was TRUMPF’s experience with 3D printing bike parts and the fact that they could 3D print parts out of a weldable version of 6061 aluminum — Elementum 3D’s A6061-RAM2 — the same alloy used in INTENSE aluminum frames.

TRUMPF started by offering advice to INTENSE engineers on part design changes to remove many of the low-angle overhangs which would help improve the printability of the component in A6061-RAM2. The first backbone part design iterations were not ideal for printing. Incorporating TRUMPF’s new build processor “TruTops Print” they were able to increase the downskin printability from a 45° angle down to 25°, enabling TRUMPF’s printer to print the INTENSE backbone with much less overhang-supporting material.

While TRUMPF was optimizing the part designs, they worked with Elementum 3D to secure the required A6061-RAM2 feedstock material. The time between initial discussions of the project and material delivery was extremely fast. Even the technical details were finalized in a short time. TRUMPF was then able to immediately confirm the powder would perform well with their existing infrastructure. INTENSE found the A6061-RAM2 alloy to be a perfect fit for in-house prototyping of new bike frames since it can be easily welded and heat treated with the remaining frame parts including thin wall tubing.

Christian Lengwenat, TRUMPF application engineer for metal 3D printing, expressed the impact of Elementum 3D’s involvement in the success of the INTENSE project, stating, “Elementum 3D is a very professional and fast acting company. It is comforting to work with a very reliable and friendly contact. Their advanced material properties and surface finish exceeded our expectation. We are already planning to use more Elementum 3D powders in our machines.”

From the first test build, INTENSE was impressed with the weldability of the A6061-RAM2 powder. It was exactly like working with billet machined 6061 material, no issues with porosity or contamination. TRUMPF was amazed at the predictability of the material’s processability after the first print, which helped to develop a working print parameter in two-weeks. Furthermore, Trumpf only had to print two DOEs to reach the material’s expected relative density value.

Both companies found the A6061-RAM2 powder to be ideal for this project, especially when they saw and felt the stunning surface finish and accuracy of the printed parts. After the backbone part was welded to the frame it was practically impossible to determine which part was printed, machined, or forged due to the superior surface quality.

In appreciation for the amazing AM experience, Jeff Steber remarks, “I am thankful for the great work TRUMPF and E3D provided. Their guidance and expertise played a critical role in the successful production of the new M1 bike. I am happy to report the M1 finished in 2nd place at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships!”

Because of the positive results from this project, INTENSE plans to incorporate AM into future bike prototyping projects and — one day, hopefully — production parts.


Patrick Callard Chief Marketing Officer

Patrick Callard earned a B.B.A. in advertising from Western Michigan University in 1990. He provides over 30 years of experience in marketing communications, new business development and market outreach.
He has managed multiple marketing projects and budgets for a variety of services and products.

Patrick also successfully grew an IT consulting business from a two-man basement business to a profitable eight employee business in 4-years. Patrick’s daily focus is to unify customer experience, brand purpose, creative communication, and marketing technology to drive the growth of the business.

Tyler Blumenthal

Tyler Blumenthal

Sales Manager, RPM Innovations, Inc.

Tyler’s message will key on blown powder Directed Energy Deposition (L-DED) for AM and repair and why this process is being realized by industry as one of the key pillars in printing thin wall part structures and large part envelope requirements.

Shawn Allan

Shawn Allan

Vice President, Lithoz America, LLC

Shawn will reveal how Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) is producing high resolution, high performance technical ceramics that can serve a wide range of applications and structural materials, such as alumina, zirconia, and silicon nitride. He will also touch on how LCM has progressed into multi-material components incorporating ceramics and metals.

Jeff Lints

Jeff Lints

Founder/CEO, Fortius Metals, Inc.

Jeff’s presentation will focus on the advances in wire DED, including welding processes for wire DED (arc, laser, and e-beam), next-generation alloys for large format metal 3D printing, and use cases that can benefit from replacing large forgings, replacing large machined billets, and producing advanced tooling — enabling next generation designs.

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.