Friday June 24, 2016 0 comments
GOLDEN -- ADAPT, the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies, a research consortium focused on developing technologies to accelerate the certification and qualification of 3D printed metal parts – technologies at the forefront of advanced manufacturing – has issued an update on progress made during its first six months of work, including a commitment from its first member organization.
Reaction Systems, Inc., which develops leading-edge technologies, has committed to become ADAPT’s first member.
“I’m impressed with the center and how much they’ve accomplished so quickly with x-ray tomography,” said David T. Wickham, Reaction Systems’ president.
“We have a project with a branch of the armed forces to make a part using additive manufacturing. It has an intricate interior channel that can only be made this way. If it moves forward, our production volume jumps, and we’ll need ADAPT’s expertise to show it can withstand rigorous conditions.
“They’ve already demonstrated they can provide useful data to help us do that, and membership expands our capabilities and expertise in using catalysts on complex surfaces.”
“When we first met, they were looking at conventional machining to create this part,” said Heidi Hostetter of ADAPT founding industry member Faustson Tool.
“A complex part, accelerated schedule, and low volume was tailor-made for 3D metal printing. We worked with them to make the part in a few days, where it may have taken six weeks with conventional machining.
“This emerging technology has countless applications, including defense and national security. With every project we do, along with ADAPT’s research, we show people its power and potential.”
ADAPT has secured additional funding recently from several sources.
Colorado School of Mines Materials Engineering Associate Professor Jeff King and Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor and ADAPT Technical Co-Director Douglas Van Bossuyt received a $500,000 grant from the Department of Energy to study radiation tolerance of 3D-printed metals.
Confluent Medical Technologies gave a $100,000 gift to establish a named fellowship at Mines and support research toward 3D printing of shape memory alloy medical devices.
In the lab, Faustson provided eight build plates, Inconel powders and argon gas. Staff is currently testing 5,000 printed metal parts. A database interface based on technology from founding partner Citrine Informatics has been created, and publications are being prepared for submission this summer.
Equipment procured and installed includes a Zeiss Xradia 520 Versa 3D X-ray microscope; a Keyence VHX-5000 optical measurement system; servo-hydraulic mechanical test equipment from MTS Systems Corp., and other metallurgical prep equipment, in addition to the Concept Laser M2 Cusing MultiLaser machine at Faustson Tool’s facility.
Staffing includes a full-time research and operations manager, two new doctoral research assistants, with three more starting in August; a fellowship; two new teaching assistants starting in August; as many as a dozen undergraduates in the work-study program; several research volunteers from the Colorado School of Mines undergraduate ranks; and a summer intern from Red Rocks Community College funded by the National Science Foundation.
As ADAPT continues its work, the consortium is actively seeking additional academic and industry partners to support and contribute to its research on important additive manufacturing areas and utilize the center to push their manufacturing capabilities beyond the current state and into cutting-edge 3D metal additive methods.