Elementum 3D, a developer and supplier of metal additive manufacturing (AM) materials, earned first place at the inaugural US Air Force Advanced Manufacturing Olympics (AMO). The company won the event's "Material Hurdles" technical challenge with its A7050-RAM2 high-strength aluminum alloy, beating eight other finalists.
Sixty-four teams participated in the AMO competition, hosted by the USAF Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO). Each team completed five technical challenges judged by 25 experts from academia, the U.S. military, and aerospace and defense companies, the FAA, Ford, and Amazon. Each team was required to accurately recreate 3D printed parts from an existing Technical Data Package using innovative materials and techniques while demonstrating accuracy, skill, completeness, ease of use, and speed of production. For further information see the IDTechEx report on 3D Printed Materials Market 2020-2030: COVID Edition.
The RSO "Material Hurdles" challenge saw teams compete to accurately recreate 3D printed parts in their own specialized material. Dr. Jacob Nuechterlein, president and founder of Elementum 3D, explained, "We entered our A7050-RAM2 aluminum alloy to deliver on the AMO event's initiative to obtain a material capable of being 3D printed into components for use in demanding Air Force conditions."
The USAF is implementing additively manufactured aluminum alloys because they can be produced quickly and on-demand while reducing component weights and raw material requirements. Employing advanced manufacturing can also reduce the sustainment costs of the RSO, which currently make up 70 percent of the USAF budget. Elementum 3D's printable A7050-RAM2 feedstock supports these goals by allowing the USAF to 3D print components out of an aluminum material that is lightweight, high-strength, and offers both excellent fatigue life and stress corrosion cracking resistance.
"We are honored to have our commercially available high-strength A7050-RAM2 aluminum alloy selected as the AM material to best meet the USAF's challenge goal of demonstrating advances in AM aluminum material properties to address sustainment of traditionally manufactured 7075 and 7050 aluminum parts," said Nuechterlein.
The US Air Force has a long history of fostering innovative solutions and these AM Olympics technical challenges were the latest means in generating transformative opportunities within advanced manufacturing. It sets in motion the USAF's willingness to embrace leading-edge solutions making for a more sustainable Air Force.
About Elementum 3D
Elementum 3D was founded by Dr. Jacob Nuechterlein in 2014. Elementum 3D's mission is to significantly expand the selection of metals additive manufacturing materials by introducing advanced metal alloys, superalloys, and composites, optimized printing processes, performance data, and expert guidance that saves time and money and reduces AM frustration. Find more on Elementum 3D at elementum3d.com, and on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Source: Shannon Marketing Communications