Latest in Science

Image credit:

DARPA to develop best practices for 3D printing

3 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Just as steel's physical properties change depending on how it's produced, so too do 3D printed materials. However, unlike steel, we don't yet fully understand how different these newfound techniques affect the resulting printed item. Sometimes a printed item -- even if it's made from something common like aluminum -- ends up having a very different microstructure had it been created with traditional, subtractive methods. You can see an example of that below. Heck, even using the same material on different printer models can result items with wildly divergent properties. But DARPA is looking to change that. The DoD's advanced research agency announced Friday that it is launching an Open Manufacturing program to create comprehensive reference documentation for 3D printing and usher in an era of productive predictability.

"The Open Manufacturing program is fundamentally about capturing and understanding the physics and process parameters of additive and other novel production concepts, so we can rapidly predict with high confidence how the finished part will perform," said Mick Maher, program manager in DARPA's Defense Sciences Office, said in a statement. Specifically DARPA will be focusing on a pair of metal additive processes (for nickel and titanium, respectively) as well bonded composite structures. DARPA is teaming with Penn State and the Army Research Lab for the program. These research institutes will act as both test centers for generating the reference materials as well as knowledge repositories once the program has concluded.

"Historically, U.S. military advantages were supplied by breakthroughs in materials and manufacturing," Maher explained. "More recently, the risks that come along with new manufacturing have caused a lack of confidence that has stifled adoption. Through the Open Manufacturing program, DARPA is empowering the advanced manufacturing community by providing the knowledge, control, and confidence to use new technology."

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
3 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Tesla update leaks some upcoming changes for Model S, Model X

Tesla update leaks some upcoming changes for Model S, Model X

View
Vine co-founder launches a new 6-second video app: Byte

Vine co-founder launches a new 6-second video app: Byte

View
US Space Force logo unveiled with a clear Star Trek influence

US Space Force logo unveiled with a clear Star Trek influence

View
Uber reaches its last major city in North America

Uber reaches its last major city in North America

View
Watch Google's upcoming AirDrop-style file sharing in action

Watch Google's upcoming AirDrop-style file sharing in action

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr