Greetings from ASTRO!

In today’s issue:

  • Join ASTRO America at DMC in Nashville for an Annual AM Forward Update!
  • Mick Maher Awarded J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award
  • ASTRO America Launches AM Forward Florida at Additive Manufacturing Workshop at Florida State University’s Panama City Campus
  • ASTRO’s AM Forward – FL NSF Development Grant to hold 2nd Participant Workshop in Orlando
  • DefenseNews: Boeing begins 3d printing Apache helicopter parts
  • ASTRO attends AUSA
  • Noah Barnhill Participates in Quad Cities Panel on Economic Growth Opportunities
  • JC Christensen Attends Opening of FIU’s Cold Spray and Rapid Deposition Lab
  • Coming Up….


Join ASTRO America in Nashville During the DMC for an Annual AM Forward Update!

AM Forward focuses on helping small/medium sized manufacturers address three challenges to 3D adoption, namely access to capital, workforce development, and a common AM qualification process.

Manufacturers, suppliers, investors, military, and government officials are all invited to join us December 12, 2023, 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm at the Omni Nashville Hotel for the AM Forward Workshop. This informative and interactive session will cover three major thrusts of the AM Forward initiative and how companies can get involved.

Update topics will include:

  • Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) initiative to allow major companies to pool investments as a private equity fund into small suppliers.
  • AM Florida and NIAR Workforce Development and Supplier Sourcing initiative
  • Development of a common template to rapidly and affordably qualify a metal AM process based on multiple OEM’s proprietary requirements.


Speakers from Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Stifel Financial, NASA, AFRL, America Makes, NAVAIR, OMB, FAA, NIST, ATI, ASTRO America and more.

Registration is free but space is limited.



Mick Maher Awarded J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award

ASTRO’s CTO, Mick Maher, was awarded the prestigious J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award at SME’s annual AeroDef Manufacturing event in Long Beach, CA.

The award is presented annually to an individual who has contributed to the composites manufacturing or tooling technology through leadership, technical developments, patents or educational activities. It recognizes an individual’s innovation in solving issues related to production and applications development; it acknowledges significant contributions that reduce costs and waste streams and improve quality and efficiency.

Mick is one of the nation’s leading experts in composites manufacturing for aerospace and defense. Key elements for his selection were his advancement of the understanding of composite bonded structures and defects reduction through process control through DARPA’s Open Manufacturing Transition Reliable Unitized Structure (TRUST) project.

Join us in congratulating Mick on this achievement!

Read the press release here.


ASTRO America Launches AM Forward Florida at Additive Manufacturing Workshop at Florida State University’s Panama City Campus

AMF-FL Will Expand 3D Printing in Florida and Grow High-Tech Jobs

This month, ASTRO and Florida State University (FSU) hosted a two-day additive manufacturing (AM) workshop at FSU’s Panama City, FL campus. More than 100 representatives from FL business, academia, government, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders attended “Expanding the Northern Florida Ecosystem” where they worked together to craft a collaborative plan for growing key aerospace, defense and energy supply chains in Florida.

The workshop served as the public launch of AM Forward FL (AMF-FL), a first-of-its-kind statewide consortium of local, state, and national leaders to develop new opportunities for technology, business, and jobs in the field of additive manufacturing (AM).

Read the press release here.

ICYMI – additional coverage:


ASTRO’s AM Forward – FL NSF Development Grant to hold 2nd Participant Workshop in Orlando

November 16-17, the University of Central Florida (UCF) will host the second regional AM workshop, following up on a successful event in Panama City. “Catalyzing AM in Central Florida,” is part of the AM Forward FL (AMF-FL) pilot program, a first-of-its-kind statewide consortium to advance the development of an regional innovation ecosystem supporting AM enterprise in aerospace, defense, and energy supply chains.

Inspired by the potential of AM to address critical supply chain challenges and create a new generation of technicians, engineers, and technologists, AMF-FL seeks to establish Florida as an innovation ecosystem for small, medium, and large companies to join academia, local government, and nonprofit organizations in a thriving hub of advanced manufacturing development and adoption. Our focus is to catalyze ground-breaking research and technology transition, particularly in communities previously viewed as less competitive in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Earlier this year, ASTRO America was awarded a $1 million NSF Regional Innovation Engine Development grant to expand relationships and find additional stakeholders across the State. We are leveraging that grant to  gather  insights and input from stakeholders for effective deployment of AM technology into the Florida supply chain. Through these workshops and other outreach, we hope to identify committed partners that are equally interested in establishing a powerful advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Florida.

Ultimately, we hope to assemble a team that will prepare a winning project proposal to the National Science Foundation for a $160 million Regional Innovation Engine.

More info on the workshop can be found here.

Check out the full agenda here.

Register here!


DefenseNews: Boeing begins 3d printing Apache helicopter parts

Jen Judson with DefenseNews attended AUSA 2023 and learned about a project ASTRO is working on with Boeing at Rock Island Arsenal. She wrote about the project in an article titled, “Boeing begins 3D-printing Apache helicopter parts.”

From the article:


Boeing plans to begin testing a full 3D-printed main rotor system for the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter in the spring of next year as part of an effort to cut out long-lead times and improve the overall supply chains for parts that are typically forged, according to company officials.

At the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference last week, a Boeing and ASTRO America team displayed its first 3D part — a main rotor link assembly — printed on what is currently the world’s largest 3D metal printer at Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois.

ASTRO, a nonprofit funded by the U.S. government, won a $95 million contract from the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center to provide engineering support to develop additive manufacturing capabilities of large-size, large-scale parts including entire hulls for tanks and other combat vehicles as well as other prototype parts, explained ASTRO engineer Emma Gallegos.

That effort — called the Jointless Hull Project — involves a machine that is big enough to print an entire, single-piece M1 Abrams tank hull, she said.

The 3D-printed main rotor link assembly took 45 minutes to deposit the 6,000 series aluminum and eight hours to print. The typical lead time to traditionally forge the part is one year, according to Andy Pfeiffer, an engineering design lead and additive manufacturing expert for Boeing Global Services.

Last year, the U.S. Army Ground Vehicle System Center (GVSC) awarded ASTRO America the AAMT Contract Vehicle. As the program lead, ASTRO America offers Research & Development opportunities for members of the Defense Industrial Base.

This work is conducted on behalf of GVSC as well as the Army’s Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence at the Army’s Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center (JMTC) to support warfighter needs at the best value to the taxpayer.

AAMT project orders address two key objectives:

  • Achieving additive manufacturing (AM) of large-size, large-scale parts and components, up to and including entire combat vehicle hulls for tanks and automotive applications.
  • Enabling the maximum number of applications and printing of 3D prototype parts.

There is a great team working together on this effort and ASTRO is excited about this development.


ASTRO attends AUSA

ASTRO’s Emma Gallegos joined members of the Boeing team, including Andy Pfeiffer, an engineering design lead and additive manufacturing expert for Boeing Global Services and Scott Rose, a welding engineer for Boeing’s research and technology unit, at AUSA to talk about the Jointless Hull project (photos). The trio is part of the broader team working on the effort.

ICYMI – additional coverage:


ASTRO’s Noah Barnhill Participates in Quad Cities Panel on Economic Growth Opportunities

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce hosted economic developers at the Quad Cities International Airport earlier this month to talk about available properties in the area. The discussion highlighted some of successful partnerships in the area and the impact on the region. The goal was to bring together a diverse group of people for a conversation on key transportation opportunities.

ASTRO has long been connected to the Quad Cities region as we have staff embedded at Rock Island Arsenal. Noah Barnhill is one of those staff members and was excited to join this important and collaborative discussion on an area that is important to ASTRO.


ASTRO’s JC Christensen Attends Opening of FIU’s Cold Spray and Rapid Deposition Lab

Earlier this month, Florida International University unveiled a state-of-the-art Cold Spray and Rapid Deposition Laboratory (ColRAD), making FIU the first in the state to house this type of facility! The ColRAD revolutionizes AM with high-speed 3d Printing methods such as cold spray and wire arc direct energy deposition (DED).

ASTRO’s JC Christensen was proud to attend this exciting event.

Read about it here!


Coming Up…


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