4/7/2016 | 2 MINUTE READ

Penn State Releases AM Materials Roadmap

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The roadmap document aims to drive materials innovation and generate interest for an AM materials consortium.


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Penn State researchers have released a roadmap detailing a strategy for building the fundamental knowledge necessary to accelerate the design and application of additive manufacturing (AM) materials over the next 10 years.

Funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, researchers from the Applied Research Lab (ARL), the Penn State Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D), the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and the School of Engineering at Penn State Behrend worked with Nexight Group to prepare the “Strategic Roadmap for the Next Generation of Additive Manufacturing Materials.”

According to the researchers, today’s AM community relies on a limited selection of conventional feedstock material choices for producing parts, functional prototypes, casting patterns and repair solutions. Most of the materials are costly and not readily available. There is also a limited understanding and inadequate compatibility with current AM processing technologies. This roadmap strives to show that introducing new materials to the AM industry will drive innovation and shape the future competitiveness of the United States in advanced manufacturing.

“We have published this document in order to inform the next generation of makers about the materials and applications that lend themselves well to 3D printing so they can take advantage of the wide range of capabilities that this technology can offer to industry,” said Tim Simpson, one of the co-principal investigators (PIs) on the roadmapping project and co-director of CIMP-3D and professor of mechanical engineering and industrial engineering.

Simpson’s research partners are: Greg Dillon, associate director for research and technology transfer and associate professor of engineering in the School of Engineering at Penn State Behrend; Richard Martukanitz, senior research associate with ARL and director of CIMP-3D; Gary Messing, distinguished professor of ceramic science and engineering and co-director of CIMP-3D; and Todd Palmer, associate professor of materials science and engineering and senior research associate with the ARL, who is the PI on the roadmapping project. In total the roadmapping effort involved more than 120 participants from industry, government and academia.

The roadmap organizes research and activities into five strategic thrusts: enabling integrated design methodologies for materials, processes and parts; developing AM process-structure-property relationships; establishing part and feedstock testing protocols; building AM process analytics capabilities; and exploring next-generation AM materials and processes. The research and development activities that are identified within the roadmap are focused on accelerating the design of new AM materials and encourage their widespread use by AM users during the next 10 years.

The researchers hope the roadmap generates enough interest from academia, research institutions, government labs and industry partners to enable the launch of the Consortium for Additive Manufacturing Materials (CAMM). The goal of CAMM will be to enable materials producers, research institutions, AM equipment suppliers, part manufacturers and end users to collectively focus on the fundamental research and development of new AM materials and processes.

The researchers have also been coordinating their roadmapping efforts with America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which helps transition research and development in AM into the marketplace.

For more information, or to receive a copy of the roadmap document, contact Simpson at tws8@psu.edu or 814-863-7136.