Problem solvers with skill sets in metal additive manufacturing (MAM) techniques can win a $1 million contract, awarded in three phases, to develop ultra-high-strength steel (UHSS) alloy solutions.

Overview

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) seeks partners to develop large-format MAM processes for relevant metal alloys. If successful, this could provide many potential advantages compared to conventional manufacturing techniques such as on-demand production capabilities, opportunities for part consolidation, alternate/agile sources of manufacturing, small lot size production, and performance-enhancing geometric customization.

The Challenge

The use of metal additive manufacturing (MAM) techniques to enable rapid prototyping of novel structures with necessary mechanical and thermal performance is of significant interest to the Department of Defense (DoD). Large-format MAM technologies (>1 m build height, width, & depth) could provide many potential advantages as compared to conventional manufacturing techniques such as on-demand production capabilities, opportunities for part consolidation, alternate/agile sources of manufacturing, small lot size production, and performance-enhancing geometric customization. Despite rapid advances in MAM techniques, current technologies still suffer from drawbacks in material selection, printed material properties, build envelope, part surface finish, spatial resolution (dimensional accuracy), and lot to lot reproducibility. Innovative research and development that resolves several of these limitations would greatly advance DoD capabilities. Therefore, the intent of this competition is to mature large-format MAM technology in order to produce solutions and parts that are of interest to the Department of Defense.

This challenge aims to identify a suitable large-format MAM technology that meets the technical requirements of build envelope and material suitability. The Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker to receive an award. Instead, they will grant to the Seeker Government Purpose Rights to build their solutions. This challenge will only be open to US companies, US Universities, or those with wholly-owned subsidiaries in the US. This competition is restricted to participation from “US Persons” (US Citizens or Permanent Residents).

About this Challenge

  • What: AFRL MAM Grand Challenge

  • When: August 20 - October 15, 2021

  • Where: Virtual

  • Who: Open to US companies, US Universities, or those with wholly owned subsidiaries in the US. This competition is restricted to participation from personnel classified as “US Persons” (US Citizens or Permanent Residents).

  • Why: Problem solvers with skill sets in metal additive manufacturing (MAM) techniques can win a $1 million contract, awarded in three phases, to develop ultra-high-strength steel (UHSS) alloy solutions.


Learn More

Join us for a live Q&A Session on August 25 at 10:00 AM (EDT).


Join the Challenge

To join the Challenge, visit the NSIN UNUM platform.

JOIN THE CHALLENGE


Partners