Additive Manufacturing (AM)
or “3D printing” (as it is known in more general circles) is a rapidly maturing manufacturing technology that has evolved from rapid prototyping over the past 30 years. EWI established the Additive Manufacturing Consortium (AMC) in 2010 with a mission of advancing the manufacturing readiness of this emerging technology. The AMC is a national consortium of industry, government, academic and non-profit research organizations with the mission of accelerating and advancing the manufacturing readiness of metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology. It is operated by EWI based in Columbus, Ohio.
The mission of AMC is to bring together a diverse group of AM end users, suppliers, researchers, and stakeholders across academia, government, and industry to positively impact the AM landscape through organized and focused activities. Specific goals are to (1) foster technical interchange by presenting timely cases studies and current research efforts at quarterly meetings; (2) execute group sponsored, pre-competitive research projects within the AMC; (3) collaborate on government funding opportunities; and (4) provide a forum for discussing and shaping industrial and government roadmaps that define future funding.
AMC continues to be been focused on addressing the technical challenges in advancing metal additive manufacturing processes such as powder bed fusion, and directed energy deposition using lasers, arc and electron beams and solid state processes such as ultrasonic additive manufacturing. Because AMC sees value in learning from other material systems and processes, discussion also includes technical topics in other additive manufacturing processes outside of metal material systems. AMC’s technical focus is a benefit to both experienced AM users/ practitioners and those just beginning to explore the technology.
The cornerstone of AMC is technical discussion and advancement surrounding AM technologies. Members, partners and invited guests meet quarterly to discuss a relevant technical theme. These events include one day of technical talks, tours, and a business meeting, plus an informal social event to encourage extended conversation and promote collaboration. Meetings are hosted at both EWI and research partner sites, and are often held in conjunction with other AM-themed seminars sponsored by the partner organization.AMC coordinates internal technology gap analyses on an annual basis to define collaborative research projects within and external to the AMC. Member dues and contributions are directed toward the execution of joint technical projects .These AMC projects, managed by EWI technical and program management staff, provide an opportunity to leverage member and government funds and contributions. Summary results and presentations are available to all AMC members.Examples of current collaborative projects include:
- Nickel Alloy 625 Laser Powder Bed Fusion Material Property Database Generation: Joint Industry Project with funding from NIST and three commercial aerospace companies. The objective is to develop a foundational dataset of room and elevated temperature material properties of a known pedigree from material produced on EOS Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) equipment. Leveraging $160K government funding and $160K of AMC dues.
- Nickel Alloy 718 Heat Treatment Development: Joint industry project involving four aerospace companies. The objective is to develop heat treatment for nickel alloy 718 produced on EOS M280 L-PBF equipment and evaluate elevated temperature mechanical properties. Leveraging $110K of AMC dues and material contributions.
In addition to group sponsored projects, members may collaborate under the AMC name to respond to government solicitations from AmericaMakes and other government agencies.
An annual membership is required to participate in meetings. There are four tiers of membership, shown along with 2013 members.
- Aerospace—Engine (5)
- Aerospace—Airframe (2)
- Aerospace—Systems (1)
- Heavy Industry (1)
Small Business and Supplier Members
- Powder (3)
- AM Equipment (1)
- AM Ancillary Equipment (1)
- AM Technical Service Providers (2)
- Government (3)
- University (4)
Membership benefits include exclusive invitation to meetings, access to technical presentations and development activities, and non-exclusive license to joint intellectual property developed under the AMC. Members who fund or contribute to a project receive direct access to all data and more frequent updates to project results.
The results of projects are reported quarterly at AMC meetings. In addition, all members are encouraged to present results of other, non-AMC sponsored AM activities, to promote technical interchange. Finally, government and university research partners are available to participate on AMC projects.