Center for Innovative Materials Processing Through Direct Digital Deposition


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The Pennsylvania State University along with its partners Battelle Memorial Institute and Sciaky Corporation operate the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) as a world-class resource for advancing and deploying additive manufacturing (AM) technology for critical applications. With a broad mission to advance and deploy AM technology of metallic and advanced material systems to industry, CIMP-3D seeks to:

  • advance enabling technologies required to successfully implement AM technology for critical components and structures,
  • provide technical assistance to industry through selection, demonstration, and validation of AM technology as an "honest broker", and
  • promote the potential of AM technology through training, education and dissemination of information.

Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing by providing on-demand production, decreasing material and manufacturing costs, allowing highly flexible designs for production, and producing features and material combinations that are not currently feasible. Additive manufacturing builds upon the U.S. strength in materials, design, simulation, and cyber technology, and offers extreme levels of product flexibility that enables new paradigms in design, materials, and manufacturing. However, the effective transition and utilization of AM within the industrial base requires an approach that engages a wide array of technologies and perspectives. To address the multidisciplinary needs for advancing this technology, CIMP-3D acts as a catalyst for engaging broad faculty collaboration that enables pooling of resources to create an exceptional research capability. The Center includes three complimentary components designed to accomplish this mission:

  • an exceptional technical team having comprehensive knowledge in all facets of AM,
  • a state-of-the-art development and demonstration facility encompassing all necessary capabilities for analysis, simulation, manufacturing, and characterization, and
  • a network of Center Associates providing a broad perspective of all aspects of AM technology.

To achieve the broad perspective necessary for advancing AM technology, the Center also includes government, industry and academic partners having the common goal of advancing and implementing this important technology within the industrial base. Appropriate to AM technology, the Center functions through a cyber-enabled environment drawing upon the collective capabilities of members, while also supporting a central facility for the advancement and demonstration of various AM technologies for innovative design and manufacturing of metallic components and structures.

The Center serves as the Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (CMDF) under the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) Open Manufacturing Program and is the Metals Node of America Makes, formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII).

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