Events and News

Research Team Partnering With AFS Awarded Funding for Additive Manufacturing Project

January 22, 2014

Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) in partnership with the American Foundry Society has been named a recipient of funds from America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, for the research project “Accelerated Adoption of AM Technology in the American Foundry Industry.”

America Makes announced the awardees of its second call for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects on Jan. 21. Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes will provide $9 million in funding toward these projects with $10.3 million in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $19.3 million.

The Institute's second project call, which was released on August 30, 2013, was focused on five technical topic areas—design for AM; AM materials; process and equipment; qualification and certification; and knowledgebase development—each with subset focus areas. Proposals could address one or more technical topic areas, but had to address all evaluation criteria.

Led by YBI, in partnership with the American Foundry Society, ExOne, Humtown Products, Janney Capital Markets, and the University of Northern Iowa, the project team for “Accelerated Adoption of AM Technology in the American Foundry Industry” will support the transition of binder jet AM to the small business casting industry by allowing increased access to the use of binder jet equipment and the development of design guidelines and process specifications.

“The American Foundry Society is very excited to be a partner in this project,” said Thomas Prucha, AFS vice president-technical services and project leader for the AFS team. “Additive manufacturing is a transformative technology that not only offers reduced lead times for prototypes and new product introduction, but could revolutionize how our industry approaches low volume production and afford our members the ability to make complex shapes not producible by traditional mold and coremaking processes.”

The technology combines the most efficient manufacturing approach of metalcasting with the ability to create components directly from CAD files in a tool-less manufacturing environment. For complex shapes like engine blocks and cylinder heads, AM already has demonstrated it can dramatically reduce development time and cost. 

“AFS is committed to developing ways to help the metalcasting industry work more efficiently and better address customer demands, and this work on helping more metalcasters use additive manufacturing is a prime example of that,” said Jerry Call, AFS executive vice president.

The 15 total selected America Makes projects span a variety of AM processes and materials with near-term technical achievements that address a comprehensive set of priorities-needs, gaps, and opportunities-within the AM and 3D printing industry.

"I want to congratulate the America Makes community and our second project call awardees," said America Makes Founding Director and NCDMM President and Executive Director Ralph Resnick. "I continue to be extraordinarily proud of the strides that America Makes is making to advance additive manufacturing and 3DP technologies. Today's announcement of the second project call awardees exemplifies how our incredibly innovative and active community-comprising both members and non-members-is working together, sometimes even with competitors, to advance our industry by exploring the limitless possibilities of 3DP. I am very excited for these projects to get underway."

The anticipated start date of the second set of projects is early Spring 2014.

For more information on using additive manufacturing, see the Modern Casting article, "Printing Possibilities."

A workshop on additive manufacturing will also be held at the 118th AFS Metalcasting Congress in Schaumburg on April 9.