AAPT Project Concept Submissions are Due by Friday, August 24, 2018


AAPT – Advancing Additive Manufacturing Post-Processing Techniques

America Makes proudly announces a Directed Project Opportunity made available to its members, funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division. This Directed Project Opportunity focuses on advancing additive manufacturing (AM) post-processing techniques (AAPT) with the objective of gaining a better understanding of the available techniques in order to achieve qualified parts and certified processes, as well as reduce costs.

Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes and AFRL are targeting to make available approximately $1.6M to fund two awards with at least $800K in matching funds from the awarded project teams for total funding worth roughly $2.4M.

AAPT aligns to the Additive Manufacturing Tech Data Packages “critical technology element” (CTE) from the from the Material “swim lane” of the Technology Roadmap, which focuses on the development of the key AM parameters to be controlled during the processing and post-processing of a given material/process family that is adequate to achieve consistent mechanical properties independent of the machine, supplier, and/or material source.

The focus of the AAPT Directed Project is of particular interest to AFRL as it seeks to further expand the use of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) for critical parts. However, the risk of employing AM technologies like SLM derives from the cost and uncertainty imposed by some of the pre- and post- processing steps that occur ‘outside the box’ of the AM machine remains a major concern and prohibitive for wider adoption. The current lack of a consensus of best practices for material handling and post-processing leads to high variability and massive qualification challenges, invariably leading to higher costs to adopt and employ AM technologies.

Through the AAPT Directed Project, AFRL specifically seeks to address two main issues. First, quantify the mechanical performance debit of using as built SLM surfaces to fabricate high-temperature nickel super alloy canonical features, such as thin walls and narrow flow channels. Second, quantify the effectiveness of Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) when producing high-temperature nickel super alloy canonical features, such as thin walls and narrow flow channels.

Technical Requirements

All the technical requirements of the AAPT Directed Project are detailed fully in the Request for Proposal (RFP) document.

Webinar Recording

America Makes held a Project Call Kick-off Webinar for the AAPT Directed Project Opportunity on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 to review all of the criteria.

View Project Call Kick-off Webinar Slides

Project Call Proposal Process

For the AAPT Directed Project, proposers will follow the established two-phase America Makes Project Call Proposal Process:


Deadline: August 24, 2018

Proposers are required to first fill out a Project Concept form, summarizing their team’s high-level technical approach and technology transition requirements. Proposal teams have 30 days to prepare the Project Concept form.

All Project Concept forms are due by 5 p.m. EDT Friday, August 24, 2018. Submissions must be e-mailed to projectcall@americamakes.us with “America Makes AAPT PROJECT CONCEPT” as the Subject line. 

Proposers do not have to be an America Makes member at this phase to submit a Project Concept form.


Deadline: October 12, 2018

America Makes will then review the Project Concept forms submitted by Friday, September 10, 2018, and proceed with a down-select process. Only those project teams that pass the down-select process will move forward to the full Proposal phase.

America Makes will be in communication with all submission teams to notify them whether or not they will be proceeding to the full Proposal phase. No detailed feedback will be provided at that time.

In the Proposal phase, project teams will develop a full proposal as in previous project calls. Proposal teams will have approximately seven (7) weeks to submit their full proposals to America Makes, which are due on Friday, October 12, 2018.


To be eligible for the AAPT America Makes Project Call, a lead proposer must be an America Makes member by the full Proposal submission deadline of Friday, October 12, 2018. Information on how to join America Makes is available on the membership page. Participants of the lead proposer’s team may be made up of America Makes members and non-members.


Project Call Announcement and Posting 07/18/2018
Project Call Kick-off Webinar 07/25/2018
Questions from Proposers about Scope or Approach Due 08/08/2018
Responses to Proposers about Scope or Approach Due

(All questions and responses will be shared with all proposers on this page.)

Fully Executed NDA with NCDMM (if proposal contains proprietary information) 08/10/2018
Project Concept Submission Due Date 08/24/2018
Anticipated Decision and Notification to Project Concept Teams who are being asked to Submit Full Proposals 09/10/2018
Full Project Proposal Submission Due Date 10/12/2018
Anticipated Decision and Selection of Projects 10/29/2018
Anticipated Date to have ALL Projects on Contract 12/21/2018

Award Announcements

The America Makes AAPT Directed Project award announcements will occur by October 2018. The anticipated start date of the projects is December 2018.

(a) Updated: July 30, 2018
(b) Updated: August 6, 2018
(c) Updated: August 11, 2018
(d) Updated: August 20, 2018