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US Military Awards 6K Additive 5-12 months Blanket Buy Settlement for Steel 3D Printing Powders – 3DPrint.com

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6K Additive has acquired a five-year Blanket Buy Settlement (BPA) order from the US Military Contracting Command. Meant to assist the actions of US Military Growth Command (DEVCOM) — in all probability a very powerful company for superior manufacturing R&D inside the military — the BPA offers 4 US Military R&D organizations entry to 6K’s metallic additive manufacturing (AM) powders, made utilizing its proprietary UniMelt course of.

These organizations embrace New Jersey’s Picatinny Arsenal, Benet Labs in New York, Adelphi Laboratories in Maryland, and Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois. One of many key differentiators of 6K’s UniMelt plasma manufacturing course of is that it facilitates the manufacturing of metallic powders from recycled supplies, enabling the conversion of scrap metallic to metallic AM feedstock. The UniMelt course of is appropriate with nickel, titanium, copper, in addition to refractory metals like tungsten.

On this case, a BPA primarily means that the 4 organizations talked about above can place repeated orders from 6K for metallic powders at a set value, with a restrict to both the overall quantity that may be spent annually or on every order. Thus, it permits the federal government to order from 6K as the necessity arises, with out establishing a brand new contract for every order.


“World’s largest 3D printer”, at Rock Island Arsenal. Picture courtesy of SME

In a press launch about 6K Additive’s five-year BPA from US Military DEVCOM, Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Stambersky, Retired, the Director of Federal Affairs at 6K, mentioned, “My expertise from my service within the Military gives me with a singular perspective of the settlement. Clearly, there’s a profit to 6K Additive, however, extra importantly, this settlement gives the US Military DEVCOM with entry to vital supplies for (AM) derived from feedstock proper right here within the US. This settlement additional establishes 6K Additive as a trusted associate for powder and as a supply for reprocessing retired parts from army plane and automobiles delivering a closed-loop, safe supplies provide to the US Military.”


Picture courtesy of 6K Additive

This deal indicators {that a} genuinely transformational second within the US army’s AM progress has arrived: as quickly because the army can flip scrap from its overflowing boneyards into AM feedstock at scale, the paperwork tied to altering applications of report within the US protection funds will really be the largest impediment standing in the best way of the army’s going all in on AM.

Furthermore, a contract like this might in the end assist handle that actual drawback, as nicely. As 6K factors out within the press launch, “already licensed scrap” is ensured to “meet the specified specification” that has already been decided for a given half in a given program of report. If this course of could be optimized to the place 3D printed elements don’t must be re-qualified, or if the re-qualification course of can not less than be fast-tracked digitally, it significantly simplifies — and significantly accelerates — the budgetary course of associated to changing current US army elements made with legacy methods with 3D printed elements. It is a excellent instance of the form of challenge the place preliminary success is prone to result in exponential development.

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