Method for Evaluating Candidates for Additive Manufacturing (AM) Processes

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8117-14-C-0027
Agency Tracking Number: F141-213-0075
Amount: $149,701.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF141-213
Solicitation Number: 2014.1
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-10-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2015-06-07
Small Business Information
3495 Kent Avenue, Suite A100, West Lafayette, IN, 47906-
DUNS: 124632428
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Czepil
 Customer Care Manager
 (765) 464-1700
Business Contact
 Lloyd Fields
Title: President&COO
Phone: (765) 464-1700
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: A challenge which continues to present a barrier to the utilization of AM and wide spread adoption is knowing when to use the technology. This is particularly problematic in aerospace and in MRO operations because the technology is still emerging, and knowledgeable, experienced practitioners remain in short supply and will likely remain so until the next generation of technicians and engineers are in the workforce. There is a large disparity between those that are truly knowledgeable (practitioners) and those who are familiar with the technology. The more parts/tooling that are built or attempted increases the knowledge base and ultimately will help push the adoption of AM technology. While caution should not be abandoned in exchange for speed, technology can come to the aid of the practitioners. The opportunity and proposed innovation, and subject matter of this proposal, is to determine the feasibility of leveraging advanced shape extraction algorithms, ontology model application, and an extensible knowledgebase to interrogate the depot"s part geometry and ascertain which weapon system components, or perhaps even more appropriate, what supporting production tooling are candidates for AM. BENEFIT: The proposed solution will ultimately result in reduced maintenance and acquisition costs, decreased maintenance lifecycles, and reduction of acquisition cost for the maintenance of various systems. This effort will present a conceptual architecture and design to establish a benchmark and guidelines for the depot sustainment engineers to identify whether AM is a viable and economical alternative to conventional manufacturing methods for legacy weapon tooling and components. Demonstrable prototype of AMAS that will be used to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed AMAS operational system. Success will promote the use of AM in the DoD depots.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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