The Composites Manufacturing Technology Center (CMTC), a Navy ManTech Center of Excellence, facilitated a large-scale composite additive manufacturing project that resulted in time and cost savings that may drive significant benefits to organizations performing low volume or custom composite part fabrication and repair.
Testing of the Large Format Additive Manufacturing (LFAM) machine demonstrated that all requirements were reached and the tool performed as expected. The tool maintained dimensional stability and vacuum integrity throughout the functional testing and composite part manufacturing. The LFAM technology cost savings is estimated at 50 percent, compared to traditional tool fabrication methods. It also reduced tool fabrication lead time by 65 percent.
The cost savings and tool fabrication cycle time reduction could provide enormous benefits to any organization performing low volume or custom composite part fabrication and repair. Several organizations were involved in the testing and development of the tool.
Established in 2000 as the Navy’s Center of Excellence for composites manufacturing technology, CMTC is one of seven Centers of Excellence that serve as technology resources for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) under the Navy Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech).
The Centers are focal points for the development of manufacturing processes and equipment in a collaborative environment with industry, academia, and the Navy industrial facilities and laboratories. CMTC is supported by Advanced Technology International.