NAMII Announces 2nd Call for Projects

August 30, 2013 | Categories: America Makes News

Youngstown, Ohio— August 30, 2013. NAMII, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), proudly announces its second call for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects from NAMII members. NAMII will provide $9 million in funding for multiple awards.

“Today’s announcement of NAMII’s second call for projects is the accumulation of months of focused work and in-depth analysis on two fronts that are intrinsically linked: The creation of a formal, member-driven project call process and the development of a National Additive Manufacturing Roadmap, our technology investment strategy,” said NAMII Director and NCDMM Vice President Ed Morris. “Both initiatives originated from NAMII’s efforts to capture the voice of our community, beginning in April with our initial Program Management Review (PMR) meeting, continuing at our RAPID appearance in June, and progressing throughout a series of NAMII member-only workshops held in July.

“The input we gathered across the board was invaluable,” continued Mr. Morris. “As a result, NAMII now has a robust project call process in place that can be leveraged for all future calls. It will also drive the ongoing evolution of a very timely, accurate, and forward-looking Roadmap. Together, the process and Roadmap enabled us to identify a comprehensive set of priorities — needs, gaps, and opportunities — within our industry. NAMII is addressing those priorities with this second call for applied research and development projects. I look forward to receiving an influx of submissions from NAMII members.”

NAMII’s second call for projects comes just two weeks after commemorating its first anniversary — an industrious, high-energy year marked by notable achievements for the public-private partnership that is currently 80 members strong. With the release of this second project call, NAMII is well positioned for yet another productive and successful year.

“From the PMR meetings to RAPID and most recently, at a series of engaging and collaborative workshops facilitated by NAMII, we remain diligent in all our efforts to empower our members and community and to prioritize their needs,” added Rob Gorham, NAMII Deputy Director – Technology Development. “NAMII is incredibly proud and excited to release such a community-driven, second project call that will fund cross-cutting additive manufacturing and 3D printing projects with the potential to produce some big outcomes.”

NAMII’s Project Call Request for Proposal (RFP) is limited to five technical topic areas with subset focus areas. Proposals can address one or more technical topic areas, but must address all evaluation criteria.

I.   Design for Additive Manufacturing

a)    Complex and Reproducible Designs via Modeling and Simulation Tools: The ability to manufacture very complex design geometries continues to be demonstrated with current AM / 3DP processes. The challenge exists when attempting to validate the value of the design as the final solution. Modeling and simulation provides the platform for capturing the interactions of material, processes, and design. The focus of this technical topic is the development of modeling and simulation tools that enable the ability to “virtually” evaluate and optimize process and product alternatives for reduced cost, schedule risk reduction and performance improvements.

II.  Additive Manufacturing Materials

a)   Sustainable Materials for AM / 3DP: Two important R&D needs have been identified to support the increased utilization of sustainable materials for AM. Responsive proposals to this subtopic may address one or both of these challenges:

1) For designers to better understand the impact of material selection, the understanding of recycling limits through a Recyclability Index that accounts for the embodied energy and processability of materials has been identified as a R&D need. AM polymeric and metallic materials of greatest interest to industry should be targeted for this effort.

2)  To increase the availability of design and production material options, design and development of materials that offer improved recyclability is also needed. Incorporating these characteristics into tools such as integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) will further increase the sustainability of AM. Successful projects that address this topic area are anticipated to reduce the life-cycle energy through increased recycling of materials and reduce cost through the ability to reuse/recycle materials and parts.

b)    Gradient and Tailored Materials: Limited capabilities exist today for integrating different properties and functionality within a single part or build volume, with significant limitations on material properties that can be created with current materials options. An R&D need has been identified for the development of metallic and/or polymeric complex parts created with gradient and tailored materials properties within one part/build that may be accomplished by varying process parameters or the use of different feedstock materials. Successful projects that address this topic area are anticipated to offer an increased return on investment (e.g., elimination of post-processing coating applications or assembly/bonding of parts) and creation of tailored material properties through the support and development of new advanced applications.

III.  Process and Equipment

a)   Next Generation Machine: Opportunities are available for the development of the next generation of AM equipment. An R&D need is the improvement of existing AM equipment to achieve a significant improvement in two (or more) aspects, such as speed, resolution or batch volume. This would provide an advantage for equipment and part manufacturers and lower the barriers of entry to multiple markets.

b)   Multiple Materials Processing Equipment: Integrated electronics within AM parts may be a significant advancement for the industry, but has not yet been sufficiently developed for commercialization. This project technical topic would develop, demonstrate, and transition equipment for the production of polymeric parts with embedded electronic components (such as sensors and other components) for advanced product markets.

c)   Energy Self-Monitoring Additive Manufacturing Equipment Systems: Many AM processes have wasted process energy that contributes to the overall energy cost of a manufacturing operation. Manufacturers have little knowledge of the energy impacts of changing from traditional manufacturing processes to AM processes. This topic will address the opportunities to develop methods for equipment to self-monitor energy consumption. In addition, methodologies for reducing energy usage of AM equipment will be important to further widespread adoption.

IV.   Qualification and Certification

a)    Non-Destructive Evaluation of Complex Geometries: Commercially available, and potentially emerging, non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques for complex geometries need to be defined for AM to assure end-user and customer confidence of the quality of finished, high-value AM components. The focus of this technical topic is the integration of existing NDE techniques or development of new in-situ sensing capabilities or post-process techniques to measure, monitor, and take action on complex AM/3DP build geometries and/or features.

V.    Knowledgebase Development

a)   Process/Properties Validation Data Set: A national repository of data on process/material property information is needed. NAMII is currently developing the framework for capturing data of relevance to the AM industry. To incentivize materials/process data creation and sharing, a knowledgebase is under development. The focus of this technical topic is the development of round robin collaborative testing of materials/processes that have high relevance to industry and high-market potential, and to contribute the resulting data to the NAMII knowledgebase. Materials of interest include polymers, metals, ceramics, and other materials relevant to industry needs and growing AM markets.

The NAMII Project RFP process is open to all organizations as long as they are partnered with a NAMII member and the NAMII member submits the proposal on behalf of that project partnership/collaboration as the lead proposer.

An email notice of intent to submit from the lead proposer of the project team is requested no later than Friday, September 27, 2013, to and should include the proposed topics(s)/subtopic(s).   All proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on October 31, 2013. Submissions must be presented by e-mail to the technical contact listed below with “NAMII PROJECT PROPOSAL” as the Subject line. E-mail submissions to:

Rob Gorham
NAMII Deputy Director – Technology Development
National Centerfor Defense Manufacturing and Machining

All submissions will be acknowledged by a return email confirmation from NCDMM.   The anticipated start date of the second set of projects call is January 2014.   For more information on the call for projects, including the RFP, or how to become a NAMII member, please visit the NAMII Web site at