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DOD-funded research collaborative focused on additive manufacturing defects

The Ohio State University leads one of five teams chosen by America Makes to develop technology for the rapid qualification of additive manufacturing in support of the Department of Defense.  

The Advanced Tools for Rapid Qualification (ATRQ) awards focus on the development and deployment of innovative, cost effective, and energy-efficient additive manufacturing technologies to meet defense and commercial needs. ATRQ projects are funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy Office (OSD/MIBP) through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

metal additive manufacturing partsNickel alloy print from a CDME laser metal printer

Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes and OSD/AFRL plan to make available approximately $3.9M to fund multiple awards with at least $1.95M in matching funds from the awarded project teams.

With research partners Rolls-Royce Corporation, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Proto Precision Additive and BlueQuartz Software, Ohio State’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) will advance knowledge of additive manufacturing defects.

“The outcomes of the ATRQ Directed Projects from the selected awardees certainly have the potential to be game-changers for the DoD’s wider adoption of additive manufacturing,” said NCDMM’s Executive Director of America Makes Rob Gorham, “particularly using laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) technology and materials.”

Led by Professor Mike Groeber, the team will use nearly $1.2 million in combined federal and matched funding to develop a design tool to automate the creation, placement, and orientation of defects in digital manufacturing files. To precisely quantify the effects of defects on part quality and strength, it is necessary to be able to generate representative defects in a controlled manner.

metal additive manufacturing partsTurbine compressor blades with complex internal cooling channels, printed via laser powder bed fusion“Bridging the gap on understanding how manufacturing defects occur during the LPBF process, and their effect on performance is crucial to widespread adoption of the technology,” said CDME Executive Director Nate Ames.

The manufacturing port of entry into Ohio State, CDME provides product design, technology commercialization and manufacturing services to its industry, academic and government partners. A collaboration with research partner Proto Precision last year enabled CDME to add industrial metal printers to their additive manufacturing laboratory.

This is CDME’s second project supporting America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.