9/6/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Funding Awarded for Robot-Based 3D Printing Project

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A team of partners has received funding to pursue a robotic software tool that could enhance 3D printing.

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A team pursuing a patented laser hot wire technology for additive manufacturing has received funding through America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in conjunction with the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). The $1 million in funding awarded for product development efforts is part of $11 million offered to participating teams through this program. The funding award supports the team’s $2 million project entry, “Multi: Source/Feedstock/Meter-Scale Metal AM Machine.”

The project team includes Lincoln Electric, Caterpillar, EWI, GKN Aerospace, IPG Photonics Corp., ITAMCO, Oak Ridge National Lab, United Technologies Corp., and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Together, team members will use the funding to build upon an existing, alpha-generation CAD-to-path robotic software tool by testing and refining it for a commercial first release. The team also will conduct basic process testing to bundle the software with a multi-process, multi-meter, multi-material, process-ready, robot-based, 3D printing system.

Upon completion, the team anticipates a commercially available, multi-planner CAD-to-path software tool will be developed as the key workforce, education and outreach (WEO) component, enabling the production of medium-area AM (MAAM) and big-area AM (BAAM) manufactured parts within the mainstream marketplace. The project targets early adopters investing in new additive manufacturing systems to produce titanium and steel parts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory via the America Makes program.

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