Center for Innovative Materials Processing created

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory and Sciaky, Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, will establish the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition as a Manufacturing Demonstration Facility under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Open Manufacturing Initiative. The project will receive $3.8 million over four years.

Direct digital deposition is a manufacturing process using complex computerized descriptions of objects to directly create objects by gradually depositing a variety of materials in specific locations to build up complex and often hard-to-manufacture items. The process can be used in on-demand production of high-value components with complex shapes, and minimizes material waste. Direct digital deposition shortens the time from design to manufacture.

The center will build on the extensive expertise and infrastructure of laser-based deposition technology that already exists in the ARL's laser processing division.

The novel manufacturing processes associated with direct digital deposition have the potential to revolutionize highly engineered metallic systems for both Department of Defense applications and the nation's industrial base, according to Richard Martukanitz, head of the laser processing division and assistant director of the ARL.

Martukanitz and Shawn Kelly, research associate in the laser processing division, along with Timothy Simpson, professor, mechanical engineering and industrial engineering, will co-direct the center.

The center also will include an educational and training component overseen by faculty in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The College of Engineering's Learning Factory will help in technology transfer through the Senior Capstone Design Program.

"The availability of direct digital manufacturing capabilities to the Learning Factory's industry partners will not only foster technology transfer but also provide students with access to cutting-edge technology that no other capstone design program is able to offer," said Simpson.

An important aspect of the center will be advanced design and simulation tools in a shared network that will allow industry participants to evaluate the technology. Industrial users will be able to develop, demonstrate, test and assess direct digital deposition quickly and inexpensively.

Sciaky, Inc., is a leading supplier of electron beam, advanced arc and resistance welding systems, and provides a wide range of contract welding services to the aerospace, defense, automotive, medical and other manufacturing industries.

For more information on the center, visit online or contact

Last Updated March 15, 2012