America Makes Announces Open Project Call Worth $6.4M in Funding

July 10, 2023 | Categories: America Makes News, Member News, Opportunities, OSD/DoD News, Project Call

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and America Makes have announced a new open project call funded by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering Manufacturing Technology Office (OSD (R&E)), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) worth a total of $6.4M. The number of anticipated awards and maximum funding will vary depending on the topic area being addressed.

The request for proposal (RFP) for this project call is separated into two documents:

  1. Open Project Call 2023 includes Topics 1-6 worth $1.2M in federal funding; and
  2. Methods and Approaches for Sustainable Additive Manufacturing (AM) Operations are addressed in Topics 7-8 worth $5.2M in funding.

The six topical areas for the Open Project Call 2023 are a direct result of the actions of the Institute and its membership. Efforts to establish these topics were initiated at AM Technology Roadmap workshops in 2021 and 2022 and focused on needs prioritized for the five swimlanes: Design, Materials, Process, Value Chain, and AM Genome. Additionally, several workshops have been conducted by America Makes and its members to address the needs of the domestic AM supply chain for education and workforce development (EWD). Topic areas include:

  • Topic 1 – Design for Dimensional Inspection of Internal Features via In-Situ Process Monitoring​
  • Topic 2 – Thermal Manipulations for Processing Improvements​
  • Topic 3 – In-Process Sensor Calibration, Characterization Methods, and Operating Limits to Yield Reliable Process Data ​
  • ​Topic 4 – Frameworks for Utilizing Process Monitoring in Conjunction with Ex-Situ Inspection for Qualification ​
  • ​Topic 5 – AM Process Pre-Qualification​
  • ​Topic 6 – “Should vs. Could” Tool and Training

According to Brandon Ribic, Technology Director at America Makes, thanks to the efforts of the workshop participants, associated swimlane working groups, the EWD Advisory Group, Roadmap Advisory Group (RMAG), and America Makes membership, the topics that compose the Open Project Call 2023 utilize workshop outputs, member inputs, as well as working and advisory group subject matter expertise to identify and formulate topics for the benefit of the AM community. “This is a prime example of how member input is leading to opportunities to execute and advance AM technologies and education and workforce development for the benefit of U.S. manufacturing competitiveness,” Ribic noted.

Topics 7 and 8 of the Methods and Approaches for Sustainable AM Operations project call aim to develop and demonstrate sustainable practices and products through design, material selection and development, material handling, and/or recycling. The RFP also seeks responses that detail methods and approaches delivering validated objective evidence to substantiate robust AM manufacturing operations (operational qualification). Topic areas include:

  • Topic 7 – Analysis of AM Sustainability and Environmental Benefits​
  • Topic 8 – Methods for Demonstrating Operational Qualification

AM technologies offer a range of benefits including unique product geometries, fewer tooling requirements, and faster production cycles, resulting in significant cost savings and responsiveness to evolving market demands. These advantages have paved the way for industrialization, presenting a golden opportunity to progress from demonstrated AM manufacturing capability into sustainable capacity. Efforts to accelerate AM industrialization requires robust quality control to guarantee the reliability and consistency of AM-produced parts.

“Fundamentally, this opportunity will help to accelerate the journey of qualifying AM materials, practices, and processes as we once again convene the brightest minds in the industry,” Ribic stated. “Through demonstration and evidence showing sustainable practices and quality control measures, we can further empower manufacturing and domestic supply chain stakeholders to embrace the full potential of additive technology.”

Project call timeline:

  • Launch: Monday, July 10
  • Kickoff Webinar: Thursday, July 27 at Virtual TRX (Registration Required)
  • Membership Eligibility Deadline:
    • Thursday, August 10 for those receiving federal funding (Topics 1-6)
    • Thursday, August 10 for proposal lead (Topics 7-8).
  • Submission Deadline: Friday, August 25 by 5 p.m., ET
  • Anticipated Awards Announcement: Monday, September 25

For full details and guidelines, visit HERE.