Auburn-led effort awarded $1.2M to create additive manufacturing standards

By Jeremy Henderson

Published: Jan 9, 2019 12:00:00 AM

Auburn University mechanical engineering doctoral students view a 3-D model with Nima Shamsaei (right), director of the National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence. Auburn University mechanical engineering doctoral students view a 3-D model with Nima Shamsaei (right), director of the National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence.

A solution to the lack of consensus-based post-processing standards that has hampered wide-spread industry adoption of additive manufacturing was recently fast-tracked thanks in part to researchers in the National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) at Auburn University.

In December, America Makes, a national leader in additive manufacturing innovation, awarded ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence $1.2 million on the strength of a project team proposal submitted by NCAME Director Nima Shamsaei. 

The $1.2 million investment will specifically help fill the gap in best practices for materials handling and utilization of selective laser melting (SLM) that has led to high variability in critical parts, challenges in qualifying parts and high post-processing costs.

Shamsaei, an associate of mechanical engineering in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, is the overall principal investigator on the ASTM International project team, which includes Auburn as well as EWI, the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), Quintus Technologies, Carpenter Technologies Corp., Aerojet Rocketdyne, Rolls Royce Corp., Honeywell Aerospace, GE Aviation and Raytheon. Project team contributors from the college include Jeff Suhling and Nicholas Tsolas from the mechanical engineering department, and Steven Taylor, associate dean for research. All three, as well as Shamsaei, are co-principal investigators.

“We are excited to learn about this first major funding of a joint proposal from members of the ASTM Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence team,” Suhling said. “The America Makes grant program is very competitive, and we were helped greatly by the complementary skills of the various members of the center, along with our external partners.”

Auburn is a founding partner of the ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, along with manufacturing technology innovator EWI, NIAR, the UK-based Manufacturing Technology Centre and NASA, which also collaborated with Auburn to launch NCAME in 2017.

“All of the partners, including our world-class researchers here at Auburn, are excited to start collaborating more closely in this crucial area,” Shamsaei said. “The potential for this project to help transform sectors and industries in the years to come simply can’t be underestimated.”

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson, jeremyhenderson@auburn.edu, 334.844.3591

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