Additive Manufacturing Research Groups Led by Pitt Engineers Receive More Than $1.7 Million in Latest Funding From America Makes

By Paul Kovach, Swanson School of Engineering

  • Faculty from Industrial Engineering & Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science enhance Pitt’s AM research

PITTSBURGH (August 11, 2015) …Two separate University of Pittsburgh research projects to improve design development for structures in in additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, were among nine contracts funded by America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The two projects, directed by faculty in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, will receive more than $1.7 million in America Makes’ Project Call #3.

To date, Swanson School faculty have been awarded more than $2.3 million in contracts toward additive manufacturing research from America Makes, the National Science Foundation, and Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania.

Principal investigator for “Integrated Design Tool Development for High Potential AM Applications” is Albert To, PhD, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, in conjunction with Aerotech, ANSYS, EOS of North America, ExOne, Honeywell, Marcus Machinery, Materials Sciences Corporation, RTI International Metals (Alcoa Titanium & Engineered Products), United Technologies Research Center, and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. This $961,112 contract is in support of an extension of the research previously awarded to Dr. To by America Makes.

“AM technologies are capable of producing very complex geometries and topologies, tremendously expanding the limited design space allowed by traditional manufacturing methods. However, existing CAD/CAE software packages to date have not taken full advantage of this enormous design freedom,” Dr. To explained. “We plan to create an integrated design suite that can be rapidly commercialized, thereby helping industry minimize design time, lower manufacturing cost, and reduce time to market for new AM product development.”

M. Ravi Shankar, PhD, associate professor of industrial engineering, is principal investigator of “Parametric Design of Functional Support Structures for Metal Alloy Feedstocks.” Collaborators on the $805,966 contract include ITAMCO, Johnson & Johnson, and the University of Notre Dame.

“Support structures play two important roles in additive manufacturing – holding a part in place, and dissipating heat during manufacturing. However, these structures are very simple and few rules exist for designing them,” Dr. Shankar said. “We want to codify the design rules for support structures used in Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to inform and then automatically recommend the optimal part orientation and the designs for optimized supports. Also, by better controlling the design, we can more effectively draw away the heat during manufacturing and minimize distortion.”

Led by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes’ Project Call #3 for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects provided up to $8 million in funding toward these projects with $11 million in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $19 million. The Institute’s third project call, which was released in February 2015, was focused on five technical additive manufacturing topic areas-design, material, process, value chain, and genome-each with subset focus areas. Proposals could address one or more technical topic areas, but had to address all evaluation criteria.

About America Makes
America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. As the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP), America Makes is the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources, we are working together to innovate and accelerate AM and 3DP to increase our nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness. Based in Youngstown, Ohio, America Makes is the flagship Institute for the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) infrastructure of up to 45 Institutes to follow and is driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). For more information about America Makes, visit http://americamakes.us.

About NCDMM
The NCDMM delivers optimized manufacturing solutions that enhance the quality, affordability, maintainability, and rapid deployment of existing and yet-to-be developed defense systems. This is accomplished through collaboration with government, industry, and academic organizations to promote the implementation of best practices to key stakeholders through the development and delivery of disciplined training, advanced technologies, and methodologies. For additional information, visit the NCDMM at ncdmm.org.

Contact
Paul Kovach
Swanson School of Engineering
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh USA

Source: Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

 

 

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