Mar 7, 2016 | By Kira
Sigma Labs has received two high-profile contracts from aerospace company Aerojet Rocketdyne to develop advanced quality control measures for the metal 3D printing of aerospace parts. The first contract will see Sigma Labs’ technology used by Aerojet and the U.S. Air Force to define standards for qualifying metal 3D printed aerospace components. Under a second and separate contract, Sigma Labs will also provide its technology to the America Makes 3D printing research initiative, via a quality assurance project led by GE Aviation and Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Sigma Labs develops in-process monitoring, analytical tools, and quality inspection systems for aerospace components made using metal 3D printing technology. Its flagship product is PrintRite3D, a proprietary software that allows for the rapid and low-cost certifying and qualifying of metal 3D printed aerospace parts. Though the exact terms of the Aerojet Rocketdyne awards were not disclosed, the contract grants Aerojet a non-exclusive license to use Sigma Labs’ PrintRite3D software applications in ongoing metal 3D printing projects with the U.S. Air Force and America Makes.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Air Force awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a $6 million contract to develop new standards of 3D printed rocket engines. The contract was part of a drive by the U.S. military to reduce its dependency on costly, Russian-made aerospace components, such as the RD-180 rocket engines used in the Atlas 5 rocket. Sigma Labs’ quality inspection systems will therefore assist Aerojet in fulfilling this contract by defining rigorous inspection processes to ensure that the metal 3D printed components meet the exacting requirements of the U.S. Air Force, and of the aerospace industry more generally.
Sigma Labs also received a second order from Aerojet Rocketdyne to use its proprietary IPQA (In-Process Quality Assurance) software applied to an America Makes project, currently led by General Electric Aviation. The goal of this project is to develop a commercially available, platform-independent Quality Assurance technology for the high-volume production of metal 3D printed aerospace parts. The program is being funded by the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), and follows a $500,000 contract awarded to Sigma by GE Aviation and America Makes in January 2016 (GE Aviation and Sigma have in fact been working together since 2013.)
Though there are many players involved in these interconnected, high-profile contracts, the end-goal is to improve the certification and qualification of metal 3D printed aerospace parts. This will help to usher in a new era of cheaper, faster, and more advanced aerospace component manufacturing.
“Working alongside Aerojet Rocketdyne on this Air Force program, as well as with America Makes, allows Sigma Labs to once again showcase the benefits of our unique technology,” said Mark Cola, President and CEO of Sigma Labs. “This is a great opportunity for Sigma Labs to gain additional exposure within the aerospace and defense industry, particularly as part of an initiative designed to define standards and qualification requirements for 3D-printed rocket components. We look forward to the rollout of these programs in 2016 and appreciate the trust that both Aerojet Rocketdyne and the U.S. Air Force have placed in Sigma Labs.”
Posted in 3D Printer Company
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-willy- wrote at 3/8/2016 3:52:08 PM:
I am still waiting for the filter down effect of jet engines reaching the mass consumers. Think about it, a small jet engine to power the portable generator would be half the size of the motor currently used and a third the weight.