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Juggerbot 3D Awarded $4 Million by AFRL

Monies to be designated for development of a large-format hybrid additive system.

Monies to be designated for development of a large-format hybrid additive system.Juggerbot 3D Awarded $4 Million by AFRL

Industrial 3D printer OEM JuggerBot 3D has been awarded $4 million to produce a large-format hybrid material additive manufacturing system. Image courtesy of America Makes.

Industrial 3D Printer OEM JuggerBot 3D has been awarded $4 million to produce a large-format hybrid material additive manufacturing (AM) system.

The project, funded by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering Manufacturing Technology (OSD(R&E)) and awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) aims to drive technologies that will lower the cost of manufacturing, produce lighter weight vehicles, and that will scale manufacturing, according to the organizations. The goal of this concentrated effort is to develop a hybrid, large-scale AM system that incorporates two-part resin and pellet-fed material extrusion technologies, capable of processing both advanced thermoset polymers and performance-grade thermoplastic materials.

A member of America Makes, JuggerBot 3D will collaborate with the institute, which works to accelerate the adoption of AM and advance the nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness.

A line of effort to achieve the goals of the project is the maturation of composite AM, particularly with high-temperature structural epoxies and other engineered thermoset resin materials in combination with thermoplastic resins. Advances in the ability to print a thermoset composite material transforms the way aircraft structure is designed, fabricated and sustained for limited-life aircraft.

Additionally, funding has been allocated to leading polytechnic institutes and key players with large-format thermoset extrusion for support in material characterization, predictive modeling and process parameter validation for thermoset and thermoplastic materials. Project partners are to be announced at a later date.

AM Advancements with Hybrid Materials

Direct ink writing (DIW) offers an opportunity in AM, as it is used to process advanced thermally cured thermoset materials. One key aspect of this project focuses on the development of material and process models that will allow a better prediction of material deposition characteristics and critical component properties. JuggerBot 3D will evolve from their commercial platform, the Tradesman Series, and develop a hybrid additive system that incorporates their industrial pellet-fed extruder systems that process a range of performance thermoplastic materials, and a two-part resin dispensing system that can process thermoset materials at scale.

“Finding success with this project will generate significant value for the U.S. Air Force and the broader additive manufacturing industry by showcasing the use of thermoset and thermoplastic hybrid extrusion,” states JuggerBot 3D President and co-founder Zachary DiVencenzo. “This initiative will expand upon the achievements from previous programs we have taken on in both faculties.”

“Designing and developing this novel technology for large format composites will enhance the Aerospace and Defense Industrial Base to reduce time and cost associated with the production of critical parts in a timeframe urgent to meet the needs of their industry. We are proud to bring this work to
Youngstown for its direct ties to America Makes and its contribution of additional jobs and economic development to the Northeast Ohio region,” notes DiVencenzo.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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