Lockheed Martin will examine the potential applications of machine learning and robotic technology to an additive manufacturing process under a two-year, $5.8M contract with the U.S. Navy‘s Office of Naval Research.
The company said Monday its Advanced Technology Center will develop software models and modify sensors for multi-axis robots designed to inject material via laser beams.
“We will research ways machines can observe, learn and make decisions by themselves to make better parts that are more consistent, which is crucial as 3D-printed parts become more and more common,” said Brian Griffith, a Lockheed project manager.
The project will initially focus on Ti-6AI-4V, a widely used titanium alloy, and integrate similar research efforts with seven university, national laboratory and industry collaborators.
Lockheed and its partners will examine common microstructure types used in additive manufacturing and seeks to align microstructures with material properties before the team will integrate its findings into a working system.