Winners of the IMPACT project call announced

The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and America Makes have announced the winners of the “Improvements in Manufacturing Productivity via Additive Capabilities and Techno-Economic Analysis (IMPACT)” directed project call.

Image © winyu - Adobe Stock.

The IMPACT project call, which is worth US$11.7 million in total, is funded by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering Manufacturing Technology Office (OSD(R&E)) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The objective of the project call is to demonstrate productivity and yield benefits for casting and forging manufacturing via additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, execute techno-economic analysis for metal powder AM, and to bridge component sourcing gaps with AM parts for casting and forging applications. Additionally, the project call was seeking innovative solutions in robotic AM process planning for continuous fiber-reinforced composite structures.

“The US government considers metal casting and forgings to be one of the most critical supply chain items to our national defense and economic health,” said Brandon Ribic, technology director at America Makes. “Thus, we see the need for casting and forging operations to seek advanced manufacturing capabilities that can upgrade production capacity, improve throughput, reduce cost, and take risks out of the supply chain equation. The awardees of this project call will work to shed light on the critical need for long-term strategic investments in AM to strengthen the US supply chain.”

“Applying the full 3-dimensional power of advanced manufacturing technologies, such as industrial robotic arms to use for AM applications can unlock many unseen potentials,” stated John Martin, America Makes Additive Manufacturing Research Director.

The award winners and related topics/projects:


Topic 1: Develop/disseminate leading practices and accelerate the adoption of 3D printed molds/cores for sand castings


Project 1: Implementing Best Practices and Technology Improvements for 3D Printed Molds/Cores for Sand Castings

Team Lead: Honeywell International, Inc.

Project Team: American Foundry Society; Chicago Magnesium Casting Co.; ExOne; Hoosier Pattern, Inc.; Ohio Aluminum Industries, Inc.


Topic 2: Mature AM ceramic technology and promote adoption for rapid, low-volume production of investment castings for defense applications


Project 1: AM Ceramic Shell Technology for Investment Casting

Team Lead: Investment Casting Institute

Project Team: Alfred University – Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology; Barron Industries, Inc.; Bescast, Inc.; Concurrent Resources, LLC; Intrepid Automation; Kovatch Castings, Inc.; Lithoz America, LLC; Metaltek International – Wisconsin Investcast Division; Missouri University of Science and Technology; O'Fallen Casting; Pennsylvania State University; Product Development & Analysis, LLC; Rangeview, Inc.; SeaCast, Inc., Shell Cast, Inc.; Signicast, LLC; Tethon 3D; University of Arizona; University of Texas El Paso


Project 2: 3D CREATE – 3D Ceramic Research & Extensive Application of Tools for Engineered Molds

Team Lead: Renaissance Services, Inc.

Project Team: Aspen Technology, LLC; Product Development & Analysis, LLC; The Ohio State University, Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence; University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center


Project 3: Maturation of Ceramic 3D Printed Shell-based Investment Casting Foundry Capabilities of the 76th CMXG at Tinker Air Force Base

Team Lead: DDM Systems, Inc.

Project Team: Air Force Sustainment Center 76 CMXG, Mueller Additive Manufacturing Solutions


Topic 5: Optimizing Forging Preforms Production Using Different Additive Manufacturing Routes: Process Selection, Testing, and Performance Evaluation

Project 1: Pilot the Industrialization of AM preforms to Expedite the Forging Process for Low-Volume Forged Components

Team Lead: Cleveland State University

Project Team: Canton Drop Forge; FasTech, LLC; Forging Industry Association; Georgia Southern University; SIFCO Industries, Inc.; and Wright State University


Topic 6: Develop and disseminate leading DED and cold spray practices to promote adoption of die repair for forging applications

Project 1: DED Additive Manufacturing for Forging Die Repair

Team Lead: Cleveland State University

Project Team: Absolute Welding and Machining; Canton Drop Forge; FasTech, LLC; Forging Industry Association


Topic 8: Techno-economic analysis and manufacturing readiness assessments to address bridging component sourcing gaps with AM parts for critical casting and forging production

Project 1: Casting & Forging Techno-Economic Framework

Team Lead: Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Project Team: N/A


Project 2: Techno-Economic Analysis and Assessment to Bridge Sourcing Gaps between Casting and Forging to Additive Manufacturing

Team Lead: Wichita State University – National Institute for Aviation Research

Project Team: N/A


Topic 9: Powder AM techno-economic analysis

Project 1: Techno-Economic Analysis of Powder Bed Fusion for the Air Force

Team Lead: American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM International)

Project Team: Wohler, Inc.


Topic 10: Innovations in robotic additive manufacturing process planning

Project 1: 3D Toolpathing Software Advancements for Steered Continuous Fiber Robot Process Planning

Team Lead: Continuous Composites, Inc.

Project Team: N/A

Project teams will report on their progress with these projects at the America Makes Technical Review and Exchange and other industry events during the execution phase of the program.