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Raytheon, Army Research Lab Tap 3D Systems for Thermal-Application Project

February 15, 2021

3D Systems has been selected by Raytheon Technologies and the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Army Research Laboratory (ARL) as part of a research project that aims to develop topological optimization that accounts for heat transfer and maximizes cooling in a U.S. Army program component, according to 3D Systems officials. A customized 3D Systems DMP Factory 500 additive manufacturing (AM) system is being employed on the project, titled Research for Virtual Design and Qualification Process for Additively Manufactured Parts Optimized for Multi-Laser Machines.The work was awarded through the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences’ Advanced Manufacturing, Materials and Processes program, with 3D Systems working in conjunction with Raytheon Technologies, the Penn State Applied Research Lab, Johns Hopkins University and Identify3D.In addition to the thermal application, this team also will develop and evaluate new technology for process modeling and defect prediction, process monitoring and defect detection, topology optimization, and cyber-physical security.

Key to project selection of the DMP Factory 500: its large build volume—to 500 by 500 by 500 mm—that’s been deemed capable of handling the size and complexity of this specific application. To meet project needs, 3D Systems’ Application Innovation Group (AIG) designed a system built on the DMP Factory 500 and providing the needed build volume along with the ability to produce parts spanning the entire build area without the need for stitching. The custom AM system includes multiple modules to meet the unique requirements of the application, and this past December was commissioned at Penn State’s Center for Innovative Material Processing through Direct Digital Deposition.The system, powered by 3D Systems’ 3DXpert AM software and using the company’s LaserForm materials, includes planned upgrades related to technologies developed by 3D Systems for its nine-laser, 1m by 1m by 600-mm build-volume AM system: coaxial process monitoring and a high-contrast single-lens reflex camera within the build chamber that delivers a comprehensive view of the build in-situ. AIG application experts will continue to provide support throughout the project, including design guidance and training.Using AM, according to project officials, provides a novel approach that covers the entire part lifecycle, including determining performance requirements; topologically optimizing the design; and manufacturing the part with attention to process monitoring for quality control, component performance validation and data security.

“The novel integration and concurrent design of structures, materials and processes to create topologically optimized heat exchangers will enable disruptive advancements in munitions technology in support of multiple U.S. Army modernization priorities,” says Dr. Brandon McWilliams, deputy program manager at the CCDC ARL Weapons and Materials Directorate.Adds Chuck Hull, co-founder and chief technology officer of 3D Systems: “Our work with ARL is taking our technology in new directions. We’re able to combine our metal-AM innovation with unique advancements in process modeling and monitoring, data security, and topology optimization to deliver an unparalleled solution. ARL is strengthening its position as a leader in technology innovation to improve the capabilities of the warfighter and we look forward to continuing our collaboration.”

Industry-Related Terms: Center, Transfer
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: 3D Systems

Technologies: Additive Manufacturing


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