DARPA’s Open Manufacturing program seeks to solve this problem by building and demonstrating rapid qualification technologies that comprehensively capture, analyze and control variability in the manufacturing process to predict the properties of resulting products.
The challenge with additively manufactured parts is that they are typically composed of countless micron-scale weld beads piled on top of each other.
To achieve this enhanced manufacturing control, Open Manufacturing is investigating rapid qualification technologies that could be applied not just to additive manufacturing but to any of a range of potentially new manufacturing methodologies. The Rapid Low Cost Additive Manufacturing (RLCAM) effort aims to use first-principles and physics-based modeling to predict materials performance for direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) using a nickel-based super alloy powder. The Titanium Fabrication (tiFAB) effort aims to combine physics- and data-based informatics models to determine key parameters that affect the quality of large manufactured structures, such as aircraft wings. The Transition Reliable Unitized Structure (TRUST) effort aims to develop data informatics approaches for quantification of the composite bonding process to enable adhesives alone to join composite structures. The Open Manufacturing program has established two Manufacturing Demonstration Facilities (MDFs)—one at Penn State focused on additive manufacturing and the other at the Army Research Laboratory focused on bonded composites.
Open-Manufacturing also is developing several advanced manufacturing techniques to support defense needs.
To support warfighters, the program is also demonstrating a framework for affordable, rapid manufacturing of customized orthoses, such as leg supports for injured veterans, in quantities of one.
Another concept being advanced is seamstress-less sewing, which could enable rapid production of U.S. AdvertisingIf you are interested in the different advertising possibilities, please get in contact with us. Francesca Gordon-Smith, Managing director of Positive Voice, works on all aspects of the spoken word; from the basics of English grammar to Elocution, Communication Skills, and Public Speaking. For adults: we offer company training in Conflict Resolution and we also operate a Positive Circle to foster greater team spirit across different departments within companies. In 2011, Francesca pioneered the use of Elocution in schools to improve spelling and has since been met with media acclaim. The website has been optimised for modern web browsers; for the best experience, please update your browser now. Grafton boss Gavin Slark he was pleased that growth was coming in from almost all parts of the Grafton group. Builders merchants and Woodies DIY owner, Grafton, which reported strong growth in sales and profits across Ireland and the UK on Tuesday, says it is benefitting from a bounceback in consumer confidence in the Irish market.
It is investing a‚¬1 million annually reformatting its Woodies stores, its chief executive Gavin Slark said, to capitalise on the return to growth here.

Growth at its Irish merchanting business, which includes the Chadwicks chain, is also now outstripping growth in the UK. The UK remains by far the largest part of its business, however, and Mr Slark said Ireland appears to be a€?several years awaya€? from a normalised house building market, due to the mortgage rules introduced by the Central Bank and the absence of large, well-funded builders. Residential property transactions, a key driver of demand in the market, continued to trend upward in 2015 and were equivalent to 2.2 per cent of the housing stock, the company said, while noting this was half the level of transactions anticipated in a normalised market. In the UK, where it generates three quarters of group revenue, Grafton reported a turnover of A?1.66 billion, up nearly 9 per cent.
It described trading conditions in the UK as a€?broadly positivea€? despite a slowing of the economy and squeezed margins.
Mr Slark said he was pleased that growth was coming in from almost all parts of the Grafton group. He said the company expects to invest in opening up to another five new Selco buildersa€™ warehouses in the UK. Grafton may look to open one or two new Chadwicks outlets in Ireland, but Mr Slark estimated that any 2016 Irish growth would come from an uplift at its existing outlets. The company announced it has also renewed its banking facilities for a further five years at lower interest rates.
Grafton acquired Dutch tool distributor Isero for a‚¬91.5 million last year, giving the group a presence in the Netherlands for the first time. Mr Slark said it has a€?an appetite for growtha€? in Holland, although it will be the second half of this year at least before it considers any further acquisitions.
The company also completed a number of bolt-on acquisitions in the UK merchanting market and the opening of five new Selco branches. In terms of outlook, Grafton said growth in UK domestic demand was resilient in 2015 supported by rising employment, growth in real incomes, consumer confidence at near record highs and historically low interest rates.
The overall outlook in Ireland is favourable as growth in employment and incomes in a low inflation and low interest rate environment should support the ongoing improvement in the economy, it said, with both residential and non-residential construction should benefit from the improving economy.
Last year an astronaut on the International Space Station used a 3D printer to make a socket wrench in space, hinting at a future when digital code will replace the need to launch specialized tools into orbit. Success could help unleash the potential time- and cost-saving benefits of advanced manufacturing methods for a broad range of defense and national security needs. Even when well-known and trusted alloys are used, the additive process produces a material with a much different “microstructure,” endowing the manufactured part with different properties and behaviors than would be expected if the same part were made by conventional manufacturing.
The goal of these MDFs is to establish permanent reference repositories that endure long after the Open Manufacturing program concludes, where individuals can access various contributed approaches and processes models.

One of these, MicroFactory for MacroProducts, uses more than 1,000 microbots, each smaller than a penny, that zip around like small insects to efficiently assembly truss structures.
This effort would transform the current “artisan” approach for making customized orthoses—where each device is custom-crafted by a specialist—to an automated process allowing greater patient access, rapid device modifications and improved durability. The Irish-headquartered, UK-listed company reported pre-tax profits of nearly A?119 million, up 17 per cent on the previous year. Here on Earth, the Navy is considering applications for additive manufacturing aboard ships, and a commercial aircraft engine company recently announced its first FAA-approved 3D-printed part.
Moreover, parts made on different machines may be dissimilar enough from each other that current statistical qualification methods won’t work. TRUST seeks to eliminate the reliance on these fasteners, thereby enabling bonded composites to take advantage of adhesive joining to streamline assembly and lighten the weight of the structures. The facilities also serve as testing centers to demonstrate applications of the technology being developed for the Department of Defense, its industrial base, and other agencies, and as a catalyst to accelerate adoption of the technology. Microbots have fabricated 12-inch truss structures with integrated electronics as a proof-of-concept, showing the potential for massive parallelism where thousands of microbots could simultaneously and efficiently build intricate truss structures.
This demonstrated robotic system uses computer vision to accurately and quickly sew fabrics together with fine thread-count precision. She said:"Cycling improves your physical and mental health but there's also the social aspect. Despite its revolutionary promise, however, additive manufacturing is still in its infancy when it comes to understanding the impact of subtle differences in manufacturing methods on the properties and capabilities of resulting materials.
Accordingly, each “new” material must be precisely understood—and the new process controlled—to ensure the required degree of confidence in the manufactured product. This technology could be applied to rapid production of advanced electronics for military systems or constructing wings for very small unmanned aerial systems, for example. Overcoming this shortcoming is necessary to enable reliable mass production of additively manufactured structures such as aircraft wings or other complex components of military systems, which must meet demanding specification requirements.
Would you attempt a marathon without investing in some decent running shoes and putting together a plan of some description?
She said:"We're aiming to build a safe environment in which women can challenge those fears.

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