America Makes Launches New Challenge for Additive Manufacturing Industry

August 31, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

America Makes, Air Force Research Laboratory, and GE launch Open-source Additive Scanning Implementation Strategy Challenge to solve additive manufacturing issues.

New Solutions for Additive Manufacturing

America Makes is a leading company for accelerating research and undertaking the discovery of additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP) technologies. The company works in the spirit of unity and collaborates with organization members of public-private partnerships, including those from government, industry, non-government agencies, academia, and workforce, and economic development resources.

This unified collaborative spirit drives the company's technological success as continual developments in AM and 3DP enhance its competitive edge. Recently, America Makes and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and GE Research have come together to help encourage any further development of new solutions for the AM industry in the form of the Open-source Additive Scanning Implementation Strategy (OASIS) Challenge. 


The OASIS Challenge

The challenge invites AM industry members to submit open-source computer codes that output laser scan paths with innovative strategies, algorithms, and methods to help advance Laser-Based Powder Bed Fusion AM (PBFAM) and solve critical IP issues. Both the AFRL and America Makes have worked together previously and have successfully optimized controls, framework software, and equipment with multi-laser metal AM. 

This challenge is built upon the back of two of America Makes projects, the 4039 where open-source software was developed, and the Acceleration of Large Scale AM (3024). The former project saw the development and demonstration of an open, layered protocol for PBFAM enabling behavior, monitoring, and control to be specified within PBFAM systems.


Demonstration of the 4039 software used for generating LAYER and SCAN open-source protocols allowing researchers to take any STL (CAD) file as input and generate machine-independent protocols for manufacturing the part on any PBFAM machine using a machine controller interface developed in LABVIEW. Image courtesy of America Makes.


Microstructural homogeneity geometric tolerance, surface roughness, and distortion are all factors that can be improved through scan strategy codes generated via the OASIS challenge.

"While tremendous progress has been made in this space there are still challenges with the proprietary nature of commercial scan strategies," said America Makes Executive Director John Wilczynskiin in a recent news release. "This challenge seeks to address those issues head-on and create a body of work that can be utilized across the industry," John added. 


Taking Part

The challenge will be launched on August 25 of this year, and a webinar held on September 9 at 2 pm EDT to provide more information. The data for the challenge is available from GitHub. Challengers can access the code and start developing. 


All parts from the OASIS Challenge will be printed with Ti-6Al-4V, an alpha-beta titanium alloy. Image courtesy of America Makes.

Once satisfied with their solutions, the challengers can submit their code (either Python, Java, C#, or C++) and STL file of your trophy/medallion between October 1, 2020, and 11:59 pm EST, December 1, 2020. Winning codes submitted for the challenge have the potential to win challengers awards worth the sum of $68,000. Awards that could be won include:


  • 1st Place: $25,500
  • 2nd Place: $15,500
  • 3rd Place: $10,500
  • 3 Honorable Mentions: $5,500 each


All submissions entered will be evaluated with pre-set code requirements, and the selected solutions used to print samples in Titanium so that material properties may be assessed and scored.