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3D Systems announced today a partnership with Pennsylvania State University to support operations in the Centre for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D). This centre serves as the official Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Facility for the U.S. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and is a major component of a Department of Defence University Affiliated Research Centre and strategic facility for the aerospace and defence sector.

This lab includes direct metal printing experts from Penn State and 3DS conducting research together on 3DS’ state-of-the-art ProX Direct Metal Printing (DMP) technology. The collaboration has three basic goals: to develop cutting-edge, high-resolution DMP technology; to enable government agencies (including DARPA and the Navy) to sponsor projects that qualify DMP for defence companies’ adoption; and to provide training in 3DS’ DMP technology within the U.S. defence/aerospace workforce.

“The CIMP-3D is a great national institution and we are honoured to be working with Penn State to advance American innovation and national security through direct metal printing technology,” said Neal Orringer, 3D Systems’ Vice President of Alliances and Partnerships. “We are eager to welcome aerospace and defence companies at every tier of the supply chain, as well as key defence labs, to join us as we revolutionise manufacturing.”

“We are extremely excited by the prospect of establishing true collaboration with a leading U.S. 3D printing technology provider,” said Dr. Richard Martukanitz, Director of the Centre for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition. “Fostered by the joint technical resources of 3D Systems and CIMP-3D, our goal is to develop and provide enablers for the adoption of additive manufacturing for critical applications to the DoD and U.S. industry.”

3DS and Penn State researchers are working on-site on several Government-funded projects, including:

  • Air Force research to accelerate wider adoption of DMP, beginning with Honeywell Aerospace’s supply chain, focused on producing and rapidly qualifying 3D printed metal aerospace parts;
  • An Air Force effort to establish an architecture for manufacturers such as Northrop Grumman and Honeywell to integrate DMP into manufacturing networks on their 21st century factory floors and embed quality control monitoring equipment; and
  • Navy projects to develop performance and safety processes for qualifying DMP in key production processes.
  • Today, the centre is playing a multifaceted role in advancing 3D printing technology, with an expansive commercial R&D portfolio as well as a range of undergraduate and graduate education programs.

On October 7 – 8 the centre will host the Technology Exchange on Coordination of U.S. Standards Development for Additive Manufacturing to initiate dialogue for development and coordination of additive manufacturing standards. In advance of the conference, on October 6, 3DS and Penn State will host a Government Users Group, inviting DoD Direct Metal Printing users to a special forum to discuss additive manufacturing in metals and tour the CIMP-3D facility.

Additionally, CIMP-3D regularly hosts industry practicums and technology exchanges, working in close collaboration with numerous government organisations and standards bodies including the ASTM F42 Subcommittee, American Welding Society C7 and D20 Committees, Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardisation, Department of Defence JDMTP, and ASME Design, Materials, and Manufacturing Segment.