Innovative AM Competition

Partnering with “America Makes” and Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs), Penn State’s Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) is sending an open invitation to SMEs to present ideas for how Additive Manufacturing can revolutionize their business. The challenge will be focused on concepts that utilize additive manufacturing for improving a current product or developing a new product. Although the challenge will focus on additive manufacturing of metals, applications involving polymer printing will also be considered depending upon the impact of improving or developing a product through additive manufacturing. The top five submissions will be awarded stipends and access to Penn State and America Makes world class facilities and research personnel in order to validate, demonstrate, and showcase their ideas.

Additive manufacturing can provide many significant advantages over traditional processes: design is no longer limited by traditional machining constraints, fine-tuned customization can be implemented on small production lots, and components which previously had to be constructed from multiple parts may be consolidated—just to name a few. Hence, AM is a highly flexible process that enables a company to be highly responsive to market needs at minimal cost. Because of these benefits, large companies having broad product and manufacturing sectors, such as GE, are rapidly developing and adopting AM for select components. An example is the GE LEAP Engine Nozzle, built entirely using AM with the powder bed fusion process. The LEAP nozzle, shown to the left, incorporates design feature that improves performance, significantly decreases manufacturing steps and cost, and extends the useful life of nozzle.

The SME Challenge proposal should include the regional NIST MEP (VMEC in Vermont) as an integral member of the proposal team.  Concepts are due by March 27, 2016. For more information about the challenge, click here for full details or contact Clara Asmail at NIST at [email protected] or (301) 975-2339. A webinar about the challenge was conducted in early February; to view the recording, click here.