Barnes Global Advisors has been awarded a contract by the Air Force for qualification in 3D printing.


The US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) has recently awarded a contract for the acceleration of additive manufacturing (AM) standards. The consultancy firm, The Barnes Global Advisors (TBGA), based in Pittsburgh, has been granted the contract, known as TEAM RED (Thorough Evaluation of AM with Rigorous Expertise and Data). This initiative is part of the Delta Qualification program at America Makes, the original Manufacturing USA institute in Youngstown, Ohio.

The Delta Qualification project call, announced by America Makes in April 2023, outlined the need for a comprehensive approach to AM standards. Specifically, the “Red Team” (Topic 3) description sought responses for a process-specific team to serve as experts in AM standards collection and harmonization. The aim was to provide a map that would enable standards organizations to update the language used in future AM process qualification.

In response to this call, TBGA has partnered with SAE International and formed an advisory panel comprising representatives from Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU), BlueForge Alliance (BFA), Sandia National Laboratories, and NASA. The TEAM RED initiative will also collaborate with the other recipients of the Delta Qualification awards, including four members of AM Forward.

TBGA President, John Barnes, expressed gratitude for being chosen as the independent team to advise the government. He emphasized the importance of a collaborative effort in tackling qualification challenges, stating, “Qualification is still a struggle for most but it doesn’t have to be. Engineers solve problems and qualify things. Let’s go!”

TBGA’s involvement in AM standardization has been recognized through multiple government contracts. In addition to the TEAM RED contract, TBGA was previously awarded nearly $2 million by the Department of Defense (DoD) for the Resilient Manufacturing Ecosystem (RME) project. The consultancy played a crucial role in the creation of the Neighborhood 91 AM campus, located near the Pittsburgh International Airport.

The RME project recently received a significant boost when it was granted $10 million through the defense appropriations bill. These developments highlight the substantial support for AM scale-up efforts backed by the US government. The growing number of contracts, both large and small, underscores the commitment to widespread commercialization of AM technology.

It is essential to view the DoD’s actions in the field of AM within a broader context. Assessing its efforts over several years demonstrates a successful technology buildup. Therefore, the logical progression is now focused on widespread commercial adoption.

In conclusion, the contract awarded to TBGA reflects the ongoing efforts to accelerate AM standards through collaborative initiatives. The partnership with SAE International and the involvement of renowned institutions and organizations in the advisory panel demonstrate a comprehensive approach to AM process qualification. With continuous government support, the future of AM commercialization looks promising.

Images courtesy of The Barnes Global Advisors. Stay tuned for the latest news in the 3D printing industry and receive valuable information and offers from third-party vendors.

Original source


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