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November 2023

Product Update

U.S. Army leverages Elementum 3D technology

Back in September 2023, we informed our readers about the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) awarding Elementum 3D a Phase II SBIR contract. Well, now it’s time flesh out the details of the contract and how the success of this project intertwines with safeguarding U.S. citizen from emerging treats.

The Army Applications Laboratory (AAL), a part of the AFC, contracts with existing organizations to drive the Army into the future and maintain USA’s advantage on the battlefield of tomorrow. They continually search for solutions to potential logistical challenges by challenging the conventional approach and developing solutions using cutting edge commercial technology.

Army Applications Laboratory

The specific problem the AAL wants to solve with the Phase II awarded to Elementum 3D is to develop alternative materials to support operations in a contested logistics environment. It was imperative for the AAL to award an organization capable of maturing and optimizing advanced manufacturing processes to enable printable ammunition manufacturing. Under SBIR funding agreements, the organization would research and develop the use of a high-specific stiffness aluminum metal matrix composite in housing targeting and electronics components. This effort would also investigate how to incorporate advanced manufacturing techniques to demonstrate a scalable, non-traditional approach to manufacturing supply chain materials in a forward area to enable the rapid resupply of existing systems.

AAL awarded Elementum 3D the SBIR Phase II award to leverage its previous work for the government on 3D printing and additive manufacturing (AM). Fortius Metals, Elementum 3D’s sister company focusing on wire Directed Energy Deposition (DED), is also supporting the project. A month has passed since the project kicked off, but the AAL and Elementum have been engaging in quality crosstalk for the last few months leading up to the project start to move the project forward and hit the ground running.

“Since receiving the contract, AAL has received good real-time feedback from Elementum 3D. The kickoff presentation was informative, and the presentation helped highlight evolving concepts and inspired additional comments from the stakeholders present,” said MAJ T. Alex Kehler, Project Manager, Army Applications Lab.

If this project produces promising results, AAL will, as with every project, transition MVP solutions to trusted partners. Moreover, if successful, there will be access to AM munition components capable of being supplied and stored under less stringent restrictions and the disaggregated manufacture of munitions will be optimized, improving lethality on demand while reducing burden on the logistical supply chain. Additionally, the matured technologies are modular and could be tailored to multiple weapon systems and ammunition sizes to establish a responsive foundation for emerging threats and increase effectiveness.

About Army Applications Laboratory

AAL accelerates technology into the hands of warfighters by developing solutions using the cutting edge of commercial technology. Experimentation with these technologies helps Army Futures Command shape requirements, advance effective approaches to innovation, and make the Army a trusted partner for commercial innovators and investors. As part of our mission, we promote innovation best practices by developing DoD problem-solving teams and integrating an expanding pool of best-in-breed commercial solvers. Keeping with this is ultimately why Elementum 3D was selected to move forward with the additive manufacturing project.

Upcoming Events

Elementum 3D webinar features best practices for printing advanced AM materials

Join us December 5, 11am-12:30pm ET, for the last “Bridging the Gap” webinar in 2023. Three AM industry experts will provide insightful perspectives on the transformative power of combining wire-DED, powder-DED, and lithography printer processes with novel and high-performance AM materials. Our presenters are excited to share their specialized experience and real-world state-of-the-art applications. Register now to secure your place!

The 1.5-hour webinar includes a 20-minute Q&A round table discussion.


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.