Project Lead: Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill.
Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
Quad City Manufacturing Laboratory, Rock Island, Ill.
Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, Peoria, Ill.
Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, Rockford, Ill.
NIST Funding: $2.4 million
Northern Illinois University (NIU) and its partners aim to develop a closed-loop manufacturing process that controls microstructural and mechanical properties of products and parts made with additive manufacturing (AM) technologies. Outputs will include a comprehensive suite of integrated tools for process control and AM part qualification. Data generated by these tools also will be used to devise and test models that enablepredictive process adjustments during the layer-by-layer, three-dimensional manufacturing method. In addition, data will guide development of customized engineered materials tailored to the capabilities of specific AM technologies, eliminating much trial-and-error testing.
This project combines innovative experimental and numerical modeling methods to provide a high level of confidence in the quality of AM-produced parts. It will provide a direct measurement capability of critical process metrics that control microstructural and mechanical properties. Process insights gained through the project’s modeling efforts, led by Northwestern, will improve design efforts and, at the same time, expand the range of capabilities of AM equipment.
Project-developed process-control and quality-measurement systems will be integrated with a diverse set of equipment owned by NIU and the Quad City Manufacturing Laboratory. To increase awareness and speed adoption of these tools, the two organizations will host a joint manufacturing demonstration facility. Transfer of the technology to the growing number of industrial users of AM equipment also will be facilitated by NIU’s membership in the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
Project Lead: National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, Youngstown, Ohio
EWI, Columbus, Ohio
Concurrent Technologies Corp., Johnstown, Pa.
University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.
23 additional collaborators*
NIST Funding: $5.0 million
The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) proposes a three-part research plan to ensure that quality parts are produced and certified for use in products made by a variety of industries and their supply chains. The emphasis is on providing tools needed for additive manufacturing applications to progress from prototype to market-ready.
EWI will lead collaborative efforts to develop in-process sensing and monitoring capabilities so that tolerances and other quality requirements are consistently achieved. EWI and its NAMII partners will focus on an additive manufacturing technology known as laser-powder bed fusion, with the goal of optimizing the structure and properties of metal powders as they are fused into parts.
Concurrent Technologies Corp. and its NAMII partners will develop and validate nondestructive evaluation techniques for post-manufacturing inspection. Such techniques are necessary to satisfy customers that their requirements have been met with the still-emerging manufacturing technology. This is especially true for customers with orders for complex high-value-added parts, a sweet spot for additive manufacturing.
A team led by the University of Louisville will develop and refine a “layerwise certification standard” for additive manufacturing. Building on the two other projects, this effort would yield a high-definition record of each part as it is produced in the layer-by-layer manner that is characteristic of additive manufacturing. The ultimate goal is to produce a “3D Quality Certificate” that would index in-process measurements to part geometry and properties.
*Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Stratonics, B6Sigma, Paramount Industries, General Electric (Aviation and Inspection Technologies), North Carolina State University, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Texas El Paso, Penn State University, Northrup Grumman, Boeing, Stryker, Harvest Technologies, Solid Concepts, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Imaginistics, M7 Technologies, Ingersoll Machine Tools