YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – America Makes has announced it plans to provide $5.7 million to fund Phase III of a program designed to use additive manufacturing to produce replacement components on legacy aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.
America Makes and the Air Force Research Laboratory plan to fund multiple awards to support private and public sector partners on the project. These partners would be expected to provide $2.8 million in matching funds for a total project cost of $8.5 million.
“Today’s project call announcement marks a significant milestone for delivering additive manufacturing technology demonstrations and solutions that can elevate the entire sustainment community’s understanding and use of additive manufacturing,” said Rob Gorham, executive director of America Makes, in a statement.
The project, Phase III of the Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-Cost Sustainment, or MAMLS, is aimed at improving the efficiency for rapid part replacement in aircraft.
“This is an effort with the potential to resolve the existing challenges that are hindrances to maintaining the strategic readiness of the Air Force, as well as the entire military, today and well into the future,” Gorham explained.
Local partners Youngstown State University, the Youngstown Business Incubator, M-7 Technologies, and Humtown Products worked with defense industry giants such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin on the first two phases of MAMLS projects. These examined additive manufacturing processes toward production of a complex, flight critical bell crank for the B-1 aircraft.
The objective of Phase III would be to create a set of qualifications that leads to the production of large-scale aerospace components through additive manufacturing.
Other goals are to evaluate defects on the performance of additive manufactured material and to assess the potential of using 3-D printing for less-critical aerospace components.
Project concept proposals are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 3. The awards will be announced by April and the start date of the project is expected in June
Pictured: America Makes headquarters in downtown Youngstown.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.