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IMS Additive Manufacturing Cluster Report

Industrially Robust AM Chain

Prabir Chaudhury, Global Metals Technology Director Designate


The objective of the cluster is to develop an industrially robust Metal Additive Manufacturing (MAM) supply chain in order to establish MAM as a global mainstream manufacturing technology. Work will include development of cost effective and performance specific raw materials, testing and qualification protocols, generation of design properties database, enhancement of machine capabilities, and identification of NDT techniques and in-situ quality testing. This cluster will also examine (a) the opportunities in use of low cost powder via machine enhancement or by using novel processing techniques and (b) enhancement of MAM surfaces for net shape manufacturing. This cluster will involve users of the MAM technology and its supply chain from raw material to finished and qualified metal parts. This report is a short synopsis of the discussion in Barcelona on May 2nd and a tentative plan arising from the discussions. The intention of this report is to inform the members about the opportunities and scope of the Cluster to put together a comprehensive plan for future collaboration.

Cluster Formation: At the IMS meeting in Barcelona on May 2nd, the Industrially Robust AM Chain cluster was formed based on the review of exploitable results (ERs) from the AM enthusiasts around the globe and interests shown by participants at the workshop.  A total of 54 participants from US, EU, MX, and SA attended the workshop, 39 ERs were reviewed from three disciplines (Metal Parts, Polymer-Ceramic-Biomaterial Parts, and General Technologies), and 6 Clusters were established for further by the attendees. Industrially Robust AM Chain was one of the three in metals AM area. Interested participants from US, EU, SA, and MX joined together to form this cluster. Table below shows all the clusters formed and respective regional leads.


Cluster Name Champion Leads
Industrially Robust AM Chain Prabir Chaudhury (EXOVA) Jeff Grabowski (QuesTek) Paolo Calefati (BOREALIS) Hardus Greyling (CSIR) Cortez Dante (FRISA)
Metals for AM David Wimpenny (AMAZE) Luis Portoles (NANOTUND3D) Dimitri Dimitrov (S. UNIV) Villarreal Gilberto (SISAMEX)
Titanium Aero Structures AM Daniel Safranchik (AATID) Federico Sciammarella (NIU) David Gonzalez Fernández (FOFAM) Willie du Preez (CENT. UNIV)
BioAMplant/IAMI Dirk W. Grijpma (RAPIDOS) Dirk W. Grijpma (RAPIDOS) Gerrie Booysen (CENT. UNIV) Leopold Ruiz (UNAM-MADIT)
Assistive Tools for Extending AM Paula Queipo Rodríguez (FOFAM) Paula Queipo Rodríguez (FOFAM) Deon De Beer (NW UNIV) Hugo Medellin (UASLP)
AM Knowledge Based Decision Support for Industry Jens Pottebann Hans Van Toor (MANSYS)



Cluster Members: Seven teams from all regions of IMS made commitments to join this cluster and discuss the scope and immediate actions for the cluster. The seven teams are: Questek, Exova, AMAZE, Borealis, NDTLBM, FOFAM, and MANSYS. The following Table shows the names of the representatives from each team and their contact information:



Region Last Name First Name email Organization Role
EU Wimpenny David [email protected] MTC Chief Technologist
EU Calefati Paolo [email protected] Prima Industries Innovation Manager
EU Buining Henk [email protected] TNO
EU Valente Anna [email protected] SUPSI Head of Industrial Robotics Systems for Adv. Manufacturing
US Grabowski Jeff [email protected] QuesTek Innovations, LLC Applications Manager
US Chaudhury Prabir [email protected] Exova Technical Director
MX Cortez Dante [email protected] FRISA Manager
MX Tijerina Abraham [email protected] METALSA Manager
SA Greyling Hardus [email protected] CSIR National Laser Centre Manager: Com & Nat Programs


Cluster Discussion: The team of seven committed cluster members discussed the scope of this cluster and came up with the cluster name as Industrially Robust AM Chain. Then a cluster champion was selected and regional cluster leads were identified as shown above. The members decided to incorporate related ERs from the present members and discuss the scope of the cluster. The team also discussed focus on large structures versus small pars limited by the current mahines. It was decided to focus on both large strauctural and small parts in this cluster. Based on these discussions, the goals and objectives were identified as shown below in the order of AM chain from raw material to finished products:

  • Develop new AM alloys for specific performance requirements in various industries
  • Explore machine modifications to use low cost, such as non-spherical powder in powder-based AM processes
  • Develop AM materials property database for design engineers
  • Explore in-process and post processing surface finish enhancement opportunities
  • Develop testing and qualification protocols for process, machine, and product for various industries
  • Investigate in situ quality assurance opportunities
  • Explore Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques for product acceptance.

Action Plan: Although the team discussed technical action plans at the cluster meeting, it is felt that first and foremost we need to focus on organistional action plan. Therefore, the action plans are divided into organizational and technical actions in the order of priority and execution.

Organizational Actions:

  • Develop the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for all partners to sign. This will be done by the regional leads by August, 15 2016.
  • Sign the MOA – All current patners by August 31
  • Recruit additional partners for the cluster from the AM supply chain including: AM alloy developers, powder and rod producers, AM machine developers, AM prototype and part manufacturers, AM product designers and users (OEMs), AM database developers, process and product analysis software developers, destructive and non-destructive testing laboratories, standards agencies, accreditation agencies, and others service providers. This work will be on-going and will be reported regularly at cluster meetings.
  • Coordinate technical actions with other cluster programs to avoid duplication and enhance complementary work.

Technical Actions:

  • Research current machine capabilities for use of low cost, non-spherical powders
  • Research current AM methods for production of large structures
  • Foster collaboration with international standards bodies.
  • Devlop a comprehensive technical program for funding from international sources covering the following issues globally:
    1. Develop new alloys for Aerospace, Energy, Gas and Oil, Automotive, and Medical sectors based on AM process characteristics
    2. Collaborate raw material suppliers for new AM alloys
    3. Develop AM material standards and specifications with international standards bodies
    4. Develop material properties database for engineering design and material and process selection
    5. Develop qualification protocols and standards for AM processes and mchines
    6. Develop protocols and standards for product testing and qualification
    7. Develop NDT methods for in-process and post processing quality assurance
    8. Develop in-process and post processing methods for surface enhancement
    9. Develop AM machines to use low cost raw materials.

Conclusion: Industrially Robust AM Chain cluster is established for international collaboration to rapidly develop AM industry supply chain and assist in global acceptance of AM as a mainsteam manufacturing process.

  • Provides effective means for a virtual enterprise to successfully network in a virtual mode via Intranet and Internet
  • Shared technological data, information, and knowledge to create advanced products, technologies and services


  • Predict distortion resulting from quenching, carburizing and nitriding of steel parts both qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • Optimize time and operating condition of heat treatments materials.
  • Uses databases (Material, Process & Generic) and process simulation by the Finite Element Analysis


  • Developed method for recycling materials without dismantling
  • Developed a logistics system for collection of disused materials


  • Created software to help SMEs develop and increase their capabilities to grow
  • Developed management methods and tools that facilitate the constant creation, exploration and exploitation of business opportunities within strategic networks
  • Symphony product portfolio consist of seven products including SymStrategy, SymResources, and SymCockpit


  • Extended an existing data model for turning and milling processes
  • A prototype for a turning CNC was developed
  • Tested and implemented new measuring equipment


Project Summary – STEP-NC

Final Report – STEP-NC


  • Developed and established ISO 10303-236, the Standard Application Protocol (AP) for the Exchange of Furniture Product Data
  • Created the fun-Step Interest Group
  • SME-focused with Large enterprises participating


Project Summary – SMART-fm

Final Report – SMART-fm



  • A tool for the rigorous and hybrid modeling of crystallization processes that can be used (a) for parameter estimation (b) for optimization of design and operation (c) starting point for model-based control applications;
  • An observer/feedback system based on hybrid models made of a rigorous mechanistic model and an empirical model (e.g. Extended Kalman filter; horizon approach, self- learning, intelligent (learning) operating system);
  • A control toolbox consisting of a Model Predictive Control applicable to a wide range of crystallization processes.


Project Summary – SINCPRO



  • Developed on-line calibration and optimization of machining process during prototype machining.
  • Developed in-process detection of tool wear and breakage to reduce down time and scrap rate.
  • Developed in-process compensation of work-piece and tool deformations for precision machining.


Project Summary – SIMON

Final Report – SIMON



  • Realization of software tools for substantially improving process chains starting with physical or digital models of the product and leading to validated physical parts
  • Development of technologies to rapidly produce parts with mass production materials in small or medium sized series using innovative tooling technologies.


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