January 17, 2020
America Makes and Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate Structural Materials, Metals Branch (AFRL/RXCM), have partnered to offer an additive manufacturing (AM) modeling challenge series, comprised of four individual challenges, with $150K to be divided among awardees.
The AFRL AM Modeling Challenge Series represents another innovative approach America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and AFRL are taking to advance the AM industry. By challenging the brightest minds from industry and academia, the AFRL AM Modeling Challenge Series will be influential in the development of solutions focused on validating/improving the accuracy of model predictions for metal AM.
The goal of the AFRL AM Challenge Series is to make high-pedigree calibration data sets available to modelers to use in the calibration of the developed models as it directly relates to predicting the internal structure and resultant performance of AM metallic components.
Challenge problems are open to academia, small and large businesses, national laboratories, both in the U.S. and internationally. Data packages will be publicly released by AFRL and made available to participants. Contact information will be required for accessing data packages to allow for challenge updates to be communicated but does not obligate participation.
Submissions will be kept private during grading but will be shared anonymously as an aggregate after grading. Only AFRL will know the identity associated with each submission at any time. If a participant is selected as a Top Performer in one of the challenges, then that participant must agree to openly associate their identity with the submission.
Participants will be informed of their submission’s grade/quality and can see other submissions in an anonymous form in a debrief document/journal article. Participants interested in having their submission graded, but not considered for an award, may discuss with AFRL regarding inclusion in the anonymous aggregate.
Any questions regarding eligibility to participate or accept Top Performer recognitions should be addressed to AFRL through the challenge participation site. Participants may submit multiple times but must detail the differences in their modeling approach in the form of a brief abstract, as detailed in the grading section below. Participants should limit themselves to a reasonable number of submissions and are subject to AFRL discretion on how many will be reviewed if more are submitted.
There is also an associated monetary and/or resource award that may be issued to Top Performers if they meet eligibility requirements and submit the required documentation. Exact details of the breakdown of prize money/resources is under development and award amounts will be communicated through the challenge participation site and may be determined by number of participants.
Likely, winners and runners-up of each challenge will receive awards. An independent third-party will coordinate awards with selected Top Performers.
To be eligible for the monetary and/or resource award, participants must completely fill in and sign the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Additive Manufacturing (AM) Modeling Challenge Series Agreement with the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), who will act as the independent third-party administrator for the awards. Submit your completed agreement to [email protected] within a week of challenge submission.
All questions related to the challenge and the data provided should be directed to [email protected].