Partnership to support aerospace and defense industry adoption of additive manufacturing method

3D Systems and Penn State will support operations in the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition.

Rock Hill, SC - 3D Systems (3DS) will partner with Pennsylvania State University (Penn State; State College, PA) to support operations in the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D). This center serves as the official Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Facility for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and is a major component of a Department of Defense (DoD) University Affiliated Research Center and strategic facility for the aerospace and defense sector.

This lab includes direct metal printing experts from Penn State and 3DS conducting research together on the company's ProX direct metal printing (DMP) technology. The collaboration has three basic goals: to develop cutting-edge, high-resolution DMP technology; to enable government agencies (including DARPA and the Navy) to sponsor projects that qualify DMP for defense companies' adoption; and to provide training in 3DS' DMP technology within the US defense/aerospace workforce.

3DS and Penn State researchers are working onsite on several government-funded projects, including:

  • Air Force research to accelerate wider adoption of DMP, beginning with Honeywell Aerospace's supply chain, focused on producing and rapidly qualifying 3D-printed metal aerospace parts;
  • An Air Force effort to establish an architecture for manufacturers such as Northrop Grumman and Honeywell to integrate DMP into manufacturing networks on their 21st century factory floors and embed quality control monitoring equipment; and
  • Navy projects to develop performance and safety processes for qualifying DMP in key production processes.

The center is playing a multifaceted role in advancing 3D printing technology, with an expansive commercial R&D portfolio as well as a range of undergraduate and graduate education programs.

On October 7–8, 2015, the center will host the Technology Exchange on Coordination of U.S. Standards Development for Additive Manufacturing to initiate dialogue for development and coordination of additive manufacturing standards. On October 6, 3DS and Penn State hosted a Government Users Group, which invited DoD DMP users to a special forum to discuss additive manufacturing in metals and tour the CIMP-3D facility.

CIMP-3D regularly hosts industry practicums and technology exchanges, working in close collaboration with numerous government organizations and standards bodies, including the ASTM F42 Subcommittee, American Welding Society C7 and D20 Committees, Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization, Department of Defense JDMTP, and ASME Design, Materials, and Manufacturing Segment.

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