America Makes Announces Directed Project Opportunity on Advanced Tools for Rapid Qualification

Says the goal is to speed development and deployment of innovative, cost-effective and energy-efficient AM technologies to meet defense and commercial needs.

Says the goal is to speed development and deployment of innovative, cost-effective and energy-efficient AM technologies to meet defense and commercial needs.

America Makes announces its next Directed Project Opportunity made available to its members for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development (R&D) projects for Advanced Tools for Rapid Qualification (ATRQ), funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy Office (OSD/MIBP) through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity seeks to promote and accelerate the development and deployment of cost effective, energy-efficient AM technologies with the objective of meeting defense and/or commercial needs.

“For our partners at the DoD, the anticipated outcomes of the America Makes ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity are of the utmost importance,” says Rob Gorham, America Makes executive director. “The DoD’s need for rapid qualification and certification of AM processes and materials is great. These projects will be instrumental in resolving the current deterrents that are hindering the wider adoption and deployment of AM technologies within the DoD and its supply chain.”

Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes and OSD/AFRL are targeting to make available approximately $3.9M to fund multiple awards with at least $1.95M in matching funds from the awarded project teams for total funding worth roughly $5.9M.

During its upcoming Members Meeting & Exchange (MMX), America Makes will be holding an Industry Day announcement beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. The Industry Day announcement will be live recorded and will be made available on the America Makes website on Monday, November 5, 2018.

Technical Topics

The three technical topics for the ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity are as follows.

Topic Area 1 - Surrogate Damage Generation for LPBF Defects

The goal of this topic area is to gain an understanding of the key failure modes and material anomalies in Laser Powder Bed Fusion as it is crucial to making progress in model-informed and analysis-based qualification approaches. To that end, the DoD seeks proposals to identify processes and methods to introduce reproducible, controlled, and representative defects into specific locations of otherwise high-quality AM material. Material systems of interest include nickel superalloys, high-strength steels and stainless steels and aerospace grade titaniums.

Topic Area 2 – Degradation of Polymer Parts Deployed in Harsh Environments

The goal of this topic area is to evaluate degradation mechanisms for additively manufactured polymer-based parts exposed to harsh environmental conditions that may be experienced in-theater, such as in shipboard or desert deployments. Specifically, the OSD/MIBP and the Joint Additive Manufacturing Working Group (JAMWG) seek to quantify material property debits and service life estimates for polymer-based AM materials and processes and provide DoD personnel with improved assessment capability of the risks and trade-offs of using polymer AM parts when deployed in field use or harsh service environments. 

The following prioritized list of AM materials has been identified as high priorities by the JAMWG for further study: PET-G; ABS; Ultem 9085 and Nylon-11/12.

Topic Area 3 - Corrosion Mechanisms of LPBF Materials

The goal of this topic area is test and evaluate localized corrosion issues in 17-4PH steel, In 625, or AlSi10Mg because of their pervasive use in a variety of DoD hardware applications. Proposals should choose what corrosion modes to characterize (galvanic, stress corrosion cracking, pitting, erosion corrosion, crevice corrosion, corrosion fatigue, etc.) as a function of alloy microstructure, porosity, surface roughness, and/or corrosive environment. 

Project Call Proposal Process

For the ATRQ Project Call, proposers will follow a two-phase proposal process:

Phase 1 (Concept Phase): Proposers are required to first fill out a Project Concept form, summarizing their team’s high-level technical approach and technology transition requirements. Proposal teams have five weeks to prepare the Project Concept form, which is due no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 28, 2018. Submissions after the deadline will not be considered. Proposers do not have to be an America Makes member at this phase to submit a Project Concept form.

Phase 2 (Proposal Phase): America Makes will then review the Project Concept forms submitted by Wednesday, November 28, 2018, and proceed with a down-select process. Only those project teams that pass the down-select process will move forward to the full Proposal phase.

America Makes will be in communication with all submission teams to notify them whether they will be proceeding to the full Proposal phase on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. No detailed feedback will be provided at that time. In the Proposal phase, project teams will develop a full proposal as in previous project calls.

Proposal teams will have approximately five weeks to submit their full proposals to America Makes, which are due on Friday, January 25, 2019.


To be eligible for the America Makes Project Call, a lead proposer must be an America Makes member by Friday, January 4, 2019. Participants of the lead proposer’s team may be made up of America Makes members and non-members.


All Project Concept forms are due no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 28, 2018. Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.

Submissions must be e-mailed to [email protected] with “America Makes ATRQ PROJECT CONCEPT” as the Subject line. All Project Concept submissions will be acknowledged with a return e-mail confirmation within 24 hours from NCDMM. For those selected Project Concepts, full proposals are due on Friday, January 25, 2019.

The America Makes ATRQ Project Call award announcements will occur by March 2019. The anticipated start date of the projects is May 2019.

Sources: Press materials received from the company.

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