CCAM Hosts Additive Manufacturing Day

The event brought together additive manufacturing professionals from industry, government and academia. 


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Technology professionals from worldwide recently took part in Additive Manufacturing Day at the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) in southern Virginia, a facility for advanced manufacturing research, development and commercialization. The day included a tour of the facility, poster session and networking opportunities, in addition to talks from industry representatives focused on additive manufacturing technology and applications.

“At CCAM we’re focused the R&D that improves advanced manufacturing methods for our members,” says CCAM Chief Technology Officer Jaime Camelio. “Additive manufacturing is a key accelerating production method helping our members create new material and production methods that drive job creation and economic development.”

“This event brought together the three wings of additive research: industry, government and academia,” says Brandon Lane, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer in the Production System Group within the Intelligent Systems Division of the National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST). “It’s important to have the three communicating and collaborating, because they have unique approaches and capabilities.”

Government’s role in additive manufacturing is two-part, explains Karen Taminger, Ph.D., a materials research engineer at NASA Langley Research Center. The first is to encourage and fund new discoveries through research, and the second is to qualify parts for safe use in commercial products.

“Organizations like CCAM help develop that process understanding and share those best practices with industry,” says Taminger.

Additive manufacturing is making a difference at NASA, where a new application is improving rocket nozzles, making them 50 percent faster and 50 percent cheaper than conventional methods.

“This improves the rockets, and it allows a much faster design cycle, because we can actually take them to task, rather than doing empirical analysis. Additive manufacturing is the enabler that brings all of these concepts together,” says Taminger.

Aaron Johns, account manager with Siemens PLM Software, agrees that the efficiencies gained by additive yield economic benefits. “In industry, we see customers using less material in production, making it cheaper in the long run to manufacture what they need.”