Bre Pettis of MakerBot with Ralph Resnick of America Makes at the rebranding earlier this year

America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, announced a series of awards following the second call for additive manufacturing applied research and development projects from its members.

With support from the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, America Makes will provide $9 million in funding toward a group of projects with $10.3 million in matching cost share coming from winning project teams.

The total funding for the projects from both sides of the equation will amount to $19.3 million.

"We were very pleased by the quality of the projects proposed by our members for this second round of additive manufacturing R&D projects being launched, which of course made the final selection process even more challenging," said America Makes Director and NCDMM Vice President, Ed Morris. "Combined with the projects underway from our first project call, we will soon have nearly $30 million of public and private funds invested in advancing the state-of-the-art in additive manufacturing in the United States."

This round of awards were focused on five technical topic areas in design for additive manufacturing: AM materials; process and equipment; qualification and certification; and knowledge base development.

The 15 winning projects span a variety of AM processes and materials. The projects represent the work of 75 individual partners among the 15 selected projects.

Once the contractual details are finalized, a few of the 15 selected America Makes projects include:

"In-Process Quality Assurance (IPQA) for Laser Powder Bed Production of Aerospace Components" from General Electric Aviation. The GE project will address the need for the development of a commercially available, platform-independent Quality Assurance technology for high-volume AM production of aerospace components.

"Developing Topology Optimization Tools that Enable Efficient Design of AM Cellular Structures" from the University of Pittsburgh. The University of Pittsburgh, in partnership with Acutec Precision Machining Inc.; Alcoa Inc.; ANSYS, Inc.; and ExOne, aims to use the funding to develop robust software for design and optimization of AM structural designs based on cellular structures.

"AM of Biomedical Devices from Bioresorbable Metallic Alloys for Medical Applications" from McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, in partnership with ExOne and Magnesium Elektron Powders, seeks to develop methods to convert magnesium and iron-based alloys into biomedical devices, such as bone plates, tracheal stents, and scaffolds.

"Refining Microstructure of AM Materials to Improve Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI)" from EWI in partnership with Lockheed Martin and Sciaky, Inc., will take on the need to improve the ability to ultrasonically inspect titanium alloy components for high-performance aerospace applications, which feature a complex microstructure created during the electron beam directed energy deposition and subsequent heat treatment processes via ultrasonic inspection techniques.

"Automatic Finishing of Metal AM Parts to Achieve Required Tolerances & Surface Finishes" from North Carolina State University in partnership with Advanced Machining; CalRAM Inc.; FineLine Prototyping, Inc.; Iowa State University; John Deere; Kennametal Inc.; and Productivity Inc., has as its goal the creation of a system that will be able to produce a mechanical product to final geometric specification so that mechanical parts can be digitally manufactured to meet the necessary final geometric accuracy required.

"Electron Beam Melted Ti-6Al-4V AM Demonstration and Allowables Development" from Northrop Grumman Corporation in partnership with CalRAM Inc.; Concurrent Technologies Corporation; General Electric; and Robert C. Byrd Institute, seeks to demonstrate the full-scale component fabrication of electron beam (E-Beam) AM Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy components, the development of a complete set of materials design allowables, and validation of non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods on full-scale E-Beam AM demonstration components.

Michigan Tech's MIG welder  based 3D metal printer

"Metal Alloys and Novel Ultra-Low-Cost 3D Weld Printing Platform for Rapid Prototyping and Production" from Michigan Technological University in partnership with Aleph Objects, Inc.; ASM International; Miller/ITW; ThermoAnalytics, Inc.; and The Timken Company, has as its focus the four interlinked tasks necessary to commercialize an ultra-low-cost 3D metal printer and develop new 3D printable alloys for it. The material development aspect of the project will focus on aluminum alloys, with the ultimate goal of developing a printable alloy from recycled beverage containers or cans.

"I continue to be extraordinarily proud of the strides that America Makes is making to advance additive manufacturing and 3DP technologies," said America Makes Founding Director and NCDMM President and Executive Director Ralph Resnick. "Today's announcement of the second project call awardees exemplifies how our incredibly innovative and active community - comprising both members and non-members - is working together, sometimes even with competitors, to advance our industry by exploring the limitless possibilities of 3DP. I am very excited for these projects to get underway."

The start date for the second set of projects is expected to be early Spring 2014.

If you wish to see the full list of projects which were awarded grants during round two, you can do that here...