Roadmap for Design and Application of Next-Generation Additive Manufacturing Materials Released by Penn State

Penn State researchers have provided a roadmap for a strategy to build the fundamental knowledge needed to speed up the development and application of additive manufacturing materials over the next decade.

The roadmap organizes research and activities for developing additive manufacturing materials into five strategic thrusts: enabling integrated design methodologies for materials, processes and parts; developing AM process-structure-property relationships; establishing part and feedstock testing protocols; building AM process analytics capabilities; and exploring next-generation AM materials and processes. Courtesy: Penn State

With funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, scientists from the Applied Research Lab (ARL), the Penn State Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D), the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, and the School of Engineering at Penn State Behrend collaborated with Nexight Group for preparing the “Strategic Roadmap for the Next Generation of Additive Manufacturing Materials.”

We have published this document in order to inform the next generation of makers about the materials and applications that lend themselves well to 3D printing so they can take advantage of the wide range of capabilities that this technology can offer to industry.

Tim Simpson, Co-Director, CIMP-3D

Simpson’s research collaborators are Greg Dillon, associate director for research and technology transfer and associate professor of engineering at Penn State Behrend; Richard Martukanitz, senior research associate with ARL and director of CIMP-3D; Gary Messing, distinguished professor of ceramic science and engineering and co-director of CIMP-3D; and Todd Palmer, associate professor of materials science and engineering and senior research associate with the ARL, who is the principal investigator on the roadmapping project.

This roadmapping effort involved more than 120 participants from industry, government and academia, who graciously contributed their time and effort to help us define a pathway for future materials development.

Todd Palmer, Associate Professor of Materials Science, ARL

The materials that are relied on today were developed several years ago for entirely different processing routes. For example, metal alloys that are in use today were developed for processing through forging and casting. The increasingly widespread adoption of the additive manufacturing process is due to the development of new material systems that can handle the drastically different conditions of this process.

“New materials will represent one of the next great innovations in this field, and we believe that this roadmap provides researchers a pathway for the next generation of materials and innovations that will drive additive manufacturing for the next decade or two. Our work on this roadmap is only strengthening Penn State’s leadership position in additive manufacturing.”

Over three decades have passed since additive manufacturing processes were first commercialized as a rapid and efficient prototyping method. The popularity of the processes has increased recently, with revenues touching 4.1 billion dollars in 2014. However, to bolster the technology into new applications, novel innovations are required.

The present additive manufacturing community relies on a few traditional feedstock materials to fabricate the parts, casting patterns, functional prototypes, and repair solutions. Most of the materials are expensive, and are not readily available. The present additive manufacturing processing technologies also lack extensive understanding and sufficient compatibility.

This roadmap attempts to demonstrate that the introduction of new materials to the additive manufacturing industry can accelerate innovation, and direct the competitiveness of the United States in the future in the field of advanced manufacturing.

The additive manufacturing process currently allows for development of unique microstructures that can lead to improved component performance. However, in order to fulfill its promise to ‘revolutionize manufacturing,’ the additive manufacturing industry must focus on the development of new materials that are created with additive manufacturing processes in mind. Additive manufacturing allows us to make nearly anything we want, but we must be able to provide advanced material properties that are capable of meeting next-generation design requirements and product applications.

Tim Simpson, Co-Director, CIMP-3D

The roadmap shows that research and activities are needed in five strategic thrust areas: ensuring integrated design methodologies for parts, materials, and processes; development of additive manufacturing process-structure-property relationships; establishment of part and feedstock testing procedures; increasing additive manufacturing process analytics capabilities; and finding out next-generation additive manufacturing processes and materials.

The roadmap identifies research and development activities that are focused on rapid designing of new additive manufacturing materials, and encouraging their extensive usage by additive manufacturing users in the next decade.

One of the major strengths of the roadmapping activity is that it covers all the bases of additive manufacturing systems. Penn State Behrend has had a traditional strength in plastics and the ties to local and regional industry in that sector were leveraged to ensure that relevant priorities were incorporated. Our established ‘customer base’ was very excited to have input into the research investment planning process, so that matters pertaining to mold design and specialty material development were considered; therefore, the impact in the plastics industry could be very far reaching.

Greg Dillon, Associate Professor of Engineering, Penn State Behrend

The researchers hope that the roadmap creates sufficient interest from academic institutions, research organizations, government laboratories, and industry partners to launch the Consortium for Additive Manufacturing Materials (CAMM).

The objective of CAMM is to enable research institutions, materials producers, part manufacturers, additive manufacturing equipment suppliers, and end users to jointly focus on the basic research and development of new additive manufacturing processes and materials.

Everyone will benefit from research into new materials for additive manufacturing, but no one wants to foot the bill by themselves. The goal of CAMM is to co-fund research and development that will benefit everyone involved.

Tim Simpson, Co-Director, CIMP-3D

The scientists are also organizing their roadmapping endeavors with America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which provides assistance for transition research and development in additive manufacturing into the marketplace.

We were intentional in aligning the strategic research thrusts in our roadmap with the technology roadmaps at America Makes. By connecting our roadmap with theirs, we can provide a clear pathway from basic and fundamental research in new materials for additive manufacturing to advanced technology development, and ultimately to new applications and commercialization.

Tim Simpson, Co-Director, CIMP-3D

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