3D printer maker 3D Systems was selected by aerospace company Raytheon Technologies and the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) of the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to participate in a research project aimed at creating topologically optimized heat exchangers for the U.S. Army to develop additive manufacturing.
In addition to Raytheon, 3D Systems will work with Penn State Applied Research Lab at John Hopkins University and software company Identify3D on the project awarded by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) AMMP program.
3D printing is provided throughout the part lifecycle, including identifying performance requirements, optimizing the design, manufacturing the part, and quality control and validation. 3D Systems’ DMP Factory 500 3D printer is used to create the components during the project.
Dr. Brandon McWilliams, Associate Program Manager at CCDC ARL’s Directorate of Weapons and Materials, said, “The novel integration and simultaneous design of structures, materials and processes to create topologically optimized heat exchangers will enable disruptive advances in ammunition technology in support of multiple priorities for modernization the army. “
The 3D printing system DMP 500 Factory. Photo via 3D systems.
The customized 3D printer DMP Factory 500
At the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2018, 3D Systems presented its automated 3D metal printing system DMP Factory 500 for the first time, which is equipped with a large construction volume of 500 x 500 x 500 mm and a high throughput made possible by multiple lasers. The company’s Application Innovation Group (AIG) developed a tailor-made version of the DMP Factory 500 for the ARL project, which is equipped with modules that are tailored to the special requirements of heat exchanger applications.
With the DMP Factory 500, the team was tasked with designing, manufacturing, and optimizing a component to maximize cooling and improve overall system performance for Army modernization products. The project will cover the entire life cycle of the thermal application, from determining the performance requirements and topological optimization of the design, to manufacturing the part on the DMP Factory 500, to process monitoring for quality control. The performance of the heat exchanger is validated as is the data security in relation to the manufacturing process.
“Our work with the Army Research Laboratory is taking 3D Systems’ technology in new directions,” said Chuck Hull, co-founder and chief technology officer of 3D Systems. “We are able to combine our innovation in metal 3D printing with unique advances in process modeling and monitoring, data security and topology optimization to deliver an unparalleled solution.”
The printing system was installed at the Penn State Center for Innovative Materials Processing by Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) in December and is operated with 3DXpert 3D printing software from 3D Systems and LaserForm materials. The bespoke 3D printer will be upgraded with some of the technologies that 3D systems are currently working on for its 1 x 1 x 600mm 9 laser metal 3D printer such as: B. coaxial process monitoring and a single lens reflex camera (SLR) in the building chamber. As a result, the ongoing development activities for the DMP Factory 500 can be transferred directly to the larger system.
3D Systems received a $ 15 million contract from ARL to develop the 9-laser printer, considered the world’s largest metal 3D printer, used to meet the armed forces’ ammunition, ground vehicle, helicopter and missile defense needs becomes forces.
“The migration to larger building envelopes greatly expands the range of applications for the Department of Defense that can be addressed by additive manufacturing, but introduces new challenges for process monitoring and quality control,” said Ted Reutzel, associate research professor at Penn’s Applied Research Lab State and Director of CIMP-3D.
“Installing this system in our center will allow our team to leverage previous developments – funded by the US Navy, Air Force, America Makes, and others – to overcome these challenges and quickly incorporate advanced defect detection technologies.”
3D printing in the US Army. Image via Deloitte University Press.
Process monitoring and error detection
In addition to developing and manufacturing the heat exchanger components, the team will also develop new technologies for process modeling and monitoring as well as the prediction and detection of faults. The respective parties will also investigate new approaches to topology optimization and cyber-physical security throughout the project.
Identify3D provides comprehensive data protection for the core manufacturing process, from the creation of the build file to the production of parts in the DMP Factory 500, and will attempt to develop an architecture with which inspection and defect detection sensor data can be securely captured in order to optimize the digital Manufacturing process workflow.
“The team is building a unique fluid architecture that includes design optimization, sensing, machine learning, safety, testing and manufacturing,” added Lisa Strama, President and CEO of NCMS. “This will lead to a prototype based on a holistic, machine-independent, interconnected workflow.
“Leveraging the NCMS ‘AMMP program and our trusted collaboration model, this project demonstrates the advances and efficiencies that have been achieved by bringing together OEMs, nontraditional defense companies and universities to capture the full lifecycle of army-related components.”
US Army Black Hawk. Photo via Lockheed Martin.
Recent US Defense 3D Printing Activities
The U.S. Army has experimented extensively with 3D printing through their ARL over the past few years, ultimately aiming to improve warfighters’ readiness and modernize their defense systems. This month alone, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) unveiled its first comprehensive additive manufacturing strategy designed to expand the adoption of 3D printing across the nation’s defense sector. The new strategy will build on the success of other US military-initiated additive manufacturing projects. Some of these include experimenting with 3D printed rocket parts, reworking parts for the Black Hawk helicopters, and custom earplugs for the staff.
Most recently, GE Research received a $ 14.3 million project from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a 3D printing device that could create water from thin air for the purposes of transporting potable water to troops in the Air to change the field. If successful, the portable device can produce enough water for 150 soldiers a day.
Around the same time, the US Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) installed the latest 3D printer from global printing and digital document company Xerox, the ElemX Liquid Metal 3D printer, on its university campus to study how 3D printing works -Printer can change The military delivers its forward-looking forces.
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The picture shown shows the DMP 500 Factory 3D printing system. Photo via 3D systems.