Open Additive, LLC, is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $2.94M, 27-month Air Force Commercial Readiness Program (CRP) contract to advance its Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology and product line to industrial scale.

The contract, titled Open Systems Platform for Multi-Laser Additive Manufacturing, builds on the company’s prior Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) portfolio and independent research to develop versatile open-architecture laser powder bed fusion systems with advanced processing and in situ monitoring capabilities. The CRP aims to accelerate the transition of SBIR/STTR technologies, products and services to Phase III and into the defense acquisition process.

The new CRP contract (FA8650-20-C-5007) is sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The effort seeks to develop and demonstrate a prototype quad-laser powder bed fusion platform with full user control of standard and advanced processing parameters, multi-sensor monitoring and feedback control, integrated heated build plate with 24-inch by 24-inch build area (600 mm x 600 mm), all configured within a versatile form factor. The contract was awarded in February of this year, completing first technical review this April.

“This effort paves the way to extend the versatility and advanced capabilities of our smaller systems to a much larger and more capable platform for the defense industrial base. We’re excited to support the Air Force push in this direction.” – Dr. Ty Pollak, President

Dr. Thomas Spears, Open Additive’s Chief Scientist, serves as the project’s Principal Investigator. Tom joined the team in September 2019, after a 6-year stint at GE Aviation and GE Additive, where he led technology and product development projects in Metal AM. The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) serves as primary project partner. Both Open Additive and UDRI are members of America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

Picture: Open Additive’s large-format 24 x 24 x 12 in (600 x 600 x 300 mm) LPBF testbed, developed under independent funding for technology and applications development.