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3D Systems Gets Two Significant U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and America Makes Development Contracts

- Partner with established aerospace and defense industry leaders
- Develop advanced manufacturing 3D printing capabilities
- Extends Direct Metal and Selective Laser Sintering manufacturing
- Underscores 3DS’ dominance in defense and aerospace applications

ROCK HILL, South Carolina – WEBWIRE

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that it has been awarded two research contracts worth over $1 million dollars to develop advanced aerospace and defense 3D printing manufacturing capabilities at convincing scale. These contracts are administered by America Makes (the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute) and funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Underscoring 3DS’ technological leadership and proven defense and aerospace manufacturing track record, the two contracts leverage 3DS’ proprietary Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Direct Metal 3D Printing (DMP) portfolio to meet the most demanding advanced manufacturing road map of the United States Air Force. Together with some of the nation’s leading military suppliers—including Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin—3D Systems will develop a precision closed loop and advanced manufacturing and monitoring platform, designed to deliver the accuracy, functionality and repeatability specifications demanded for flight worthy aerospace parts.

“The collaborative and forward looking initiative of America Makes members is driving extraordinary strides in 3D printing centric advanced manufacturing for this important industry,” commented Ralph Resnick, America Makes founding director and executive director. “America Makes is grateful for the support and funding from AFRL to enable important research like this.”

The first contract is led by 3DS, in partnership with the University of Delaware’s Center for Composite Manufacturing (UDCCM), Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMCO). The project is designed to integrate predictive technologies with 3DS’ SLS 3D printers to dynamically monitor parts at the layer level during the manufacturing process, ensuring optimum accuracy and repeatability of manufactured aerospace parts.  

The second contract, in collaboration with the Applied Research Laboratory of Pennsylvania State University in partnership with Honeywell International and Northrop Grumman Corporation, leverages 3DS’ Direct Metal 3D printing. As a result of this project, aerospace and defense manufacturers will gain full control of every aspect of the direct metal manufacturing process at the layer level, delivering fully dense, chemically pure, flight worthy metals parts.\

“These important research projects will position leading industry manufacturers to 3D print high-performance precision parts at convincing scale with enhanced functionality,” said Neal Orringer, Vice President of Alliances & Partnerships, 3DS. “3D Systems pioneered the use of advanced manufacturing for aerospace and defense applications and is proud to work with such esteemed partners to further advance these technologies and meet and exceed the future demands of the Air Force.”

Both projects are set to commence in early 2015.

Learn more about 3DS’ commitment to manufacturing the future today at

About 3D Systems

3D Systems is pioneering 3D printing for everyone. 3DS provides the most advanced and comprehensive 3D design-to-manufacturing solutions including 3D printers, print materials and cloud sourced custom parts. Its powerful digital thread empowers professionals and consumers everywhere to bring their ideas to life in material choices including plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles. 3DS’ leading healthcare solutions include end-to-end simulation, training and integrated 3D planning and printing for personalized surgery and patient specific medical and dental devices. Its democratized 3D design and inspection products embody the latest perceptual, capture and touch technology. Its products and services replace and complement traditional methods with improved results and reduced time to outcomes. These solutions are used to rapidly design, create, communicate, plan, guide, prototype or produce functional parts, devices and assemblies, empowering customers to manufacture the future.

Leadership Through Innovation and Technology

•3DS invented 3D printing with its Stereolithography (SLA) printer and was the first to commercialize it in 1989.

•3DS invented Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing and was the first to commercialize it in 1992.

•3DS invented the ColorJet Printing (CJP) class of 3D printers and was the first to commercialize 3D powder-based systems in 1994.

•3DS invented MultiJet Printing (MJP) printers and was the first to commercialize it in 1996.

•3DS Medical Modeling pioneered virtual surgical planning (VSP) and its services are world-leading, helping many thousands of patients on an annual basis.

Today its comprehensive range of 3D printers is the industry’s benchmark for production-grade manufacturing in aerospace, automotive, patient specific medical device and a variety of consumer, electronic and fashion accessories.

More information on the company is available at

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