DURIP award enables installation of novel open-source additive manufacturing system at CDME

Posted: February 21, 2022
Open Additive machine
Jacob Rindler (left), Michael Groeber (middle), and Antonio Ramirez (right) secured the $500K DURIP award, which allowed the purchase of the Open Additive system

The Ohio State University has expanded its advanced metal additive manufacturing capabilities after an interdisciplinary team of researchers earned a highly competitive grant for new laboratory equipment administered by the Office of Naval Research. The $500K Defense University Research Program (DURIP) award allowed the purchase of an openly controlled and monitored, multi-beam laser additive manufacturing (AM) system. This system will provide educational opportunities for students, enable research developments, and facilitate scientific insight for the next generation of machine enhancements. 

Developed by Dayton, Ohio-based Open Additive, LLC, the system is one of the first multi-laser, open-architecture, and fully instrumented powder-bed printers in the United States and, possibly, the world. This unique instrument uses multiple beams to allow for the engineering of local thermal history during printing,

"This system will allow us to push the limits of what is possible in additive manufacturing of metallic components," Michael Groeber, an associate professor in integrated systems engineering (ISE) at Ohio State and a principal investigator for the award, said. "This system provides an opportunity to locally tune material structure and performance. The combination of the open control of processing strategies with robust in-process monitoring creates a testbed for discovering process-structure relationships needed to insert materials and manufacturing into the component design process."

The printer is housed in the Additive Manufacturing Lab at Ohio State's Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME). CDME boasts more than $6 million in AM equipment, including industrial 3D printers capable of processing metals, polymers, composites, biomaterials, and ceramics.  

Open Additive machine
The Open Additive system is housed at Ohio State's Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME)

Co-investigators on the award include Jacob Rindler, an additive manufacturing technology lead at CDME, and Antonio Ramirez, a professor in materials science and engineering at Ohio State. 

With an objective provide new research opportunities across a wide range of disciplines within materials science and advanced manufacturing, the Open Additive system will become a focal point of collaboration in AM, microstructural engineering, integrated computational materials engineering, and in-situ monitoring. 

"Earning the DURIP award created an amazing opportunity for Ohio State, the state of Ohio, and the United States Department of Defense," Nate Ames, executive director of CDME, said. "In no other ITAR-compliant institution that I'm aware of can industry and academia access nearly every modality of commercial-scale additive manufacturing equipment for fundamental research, product development, and undergraduate student training."

The system is expected for inclusion in AM curricula. It will also serve as an integrated feature of CDME outreach programs that connect K-12 STEM students to real-world manufacturing equipment and expertise.

CDME uses industry-funded projects as a vehicle to provide undergraduate student employees with hands-on, mentor-based experiences to integrate new technology into market-ready applications. Projects are executed in a 37,600 square-foot ITAR compliant manufacturing campus within Ohio State's Innovation District.  

Rindler plans to use the system to validate better, faster strategies developed by CDME during the America Makes Open-source Additive Scanning Implementation Strategy (OASIS) Challenge. The OASIS Challenge, which Ohio State won, sought to advance the state-of-the-art laser-based powder bed AM in temporal and spatial thermal management by submitting innovative open-source scan strategy codes, algorithms, and methods.  

"With this system, we add an unparalleled open architecture to our suite of technologies," said Ames.