AMMO Monthly Meeting

On 11 March 2020, the Additive Manufacturing Maintenance Operations (AMMO) working group conducted a teleconference with 50 participants.  A summary follows:


Introduction:  Greg Kilchenstein welcomed the group and stated that the Joint Additive manufacturing Steering Group (JAMSG) has “evolved” into the Joint Defense Manufacturing Council (JDMC). They held their first meeting on Friday 6 March. AM metrics were a key topic which we will cover in more detail next month. The draft DoDI that represents department level AM policy has been internally coordinated in OSD and through editing with the WHS. OSD(R&E) has assumed the Office of Responsibility.


Digital Alloys Technology Update: Alex Huckstepp (Digital Alloys) Digital Alloys provides technology and expertise in the use of metal AM in production. Mr. Huckstepp discussed Digital Alloy’s Joule Printing and its fast and low-cost process control advantages over traditional wire metal printing. Using a closed-loop and automated in-situ QA, Joule Printing provides high quality and consistency, and higher strength and density than traditional AM and even standard cast.

Relativity Space – Josh Brost (Relativity) described how Reliability has developed faster production times than traditional aerospace, by utilizing adaptable, scalable, and autonomous robotics. Part count, build time, iteration time and the supply chain are all decreased.  They are changing the way rockets are built. Hardware must complete an acceptance process and quality review and the Relativity System tracks, documents, and resolves issues involving test and flight hardware and software, specifically during development, production, test, and operations.

America Makes Mx and Sustainment Advisory Group Update – Marilyn Gaska (LMCO) provided a quick update that included the following:

  1. The February meeting featured the new Technology Director – DR. Brandon Riddick. (Dave Siddle Retired). Dr. Riddick presented an overview of what AM does. The presentation is available to share. Also addressed were critical factors in qualification and certification.
  2. There was an AM TRX Meeting held at College Station on 3-4 March. Rob Gorham gave a presentation of the “Digital Storefront”. The presentation will be available soon.
  3. RAPID + TCT 2020 on April 20-23 in Anaheim, CA.
  4. The next AMMSAG is March 19. The MIC 2019 People’s Choice Winner – “MELD” will brief.


2020 AM Workshop – Greg Kilchenstein, Kelly Visconti, and Marilyn Gaska provided an update on the 2020 AM Workshop. The nine AM working groups align with the JAMWG. Below are the nine AM working groups. Please visit the AMMO website to view the working group abstracts and to register online. The AMMO website is at


  • Addressing AM Cyber Challenges – Al Lowas / Dana Ellis

AM Data Management: – Jenn Wolk, Mark Benedict, Alex Kitt

  • Standards and Data Dictionary
  • Common AM Database Experiment (CAMDEN)


  • Framing the DoD-level AM Guidebook – Greg Kilchenstein
  • Workforce Development for AM – Michael Britt-Crane / Josh Cramer
  • AM Metrics – Measures of Effectiveness and Measures of Performance – TBD
  • The AM Intellectual Property Journey – TBD
  • Common AM Part Criticality Definition (DLA – TBD)
  • Standard AM TDP (DLA – TBD)


Volunteers for leadership and facilitator roles are welcome. If interested, please contact Debbie Lilu or Kelly Visconti


Next Meeting: – The next AMMO WG call is scheduled for 10:30-12:00 am (Eastern Time) on Wednesday, 1 April 2020.


POC for this action is Ray Langlais, LMI,, (571) 633-8019




Digital Alloys Technology Update: Alex Huckstepp (Digital Alloys)

Q1. How has lack of knowledge of process-microstructure-properties and control of variability impacted use of metal AM?  What foundation in these areas exist for your process for alloys you are using?

A1. Metal involves a lot of different processes. It has been difficult (time & money) to develop processes. We are trying to unlock the data. Our goals include landing a parts printing business. Selling printers. We will be adding different metals – titanium and tool steel – “hard” metals. Different types of inconels.

Q2. What size welding wire does this process use? Or, are there rollers to accommodate different sizes?

A2. Right now – .89 mm diameter wire. Standard welding size.

Q3. What is an average speed?

A3. Titanium is 2-4 kg per hour. Steel is 4-6 kg per hour. The speed is driven by the density of the metal.

Q4. Can you expand on, “we haven’t found a wire yet that we can’t print?” Does this include 6xxx series aluminums?

A4. We have not tried a 6 series aluminum yet. We have a blog on “What Metals Can We Print?”.

Q5. Are there any available materials standards for Joule Printed materials?

A5. No true standards yet. They will come with time.

Q6. What is the build rate (cc/hr) range of this method – is it material dependent?

A6. ~1000 cc/hr. Yes. It depends on density.

Q7. Also is this done in an Argon Atmosphere or some other Gas or in a Vac?

A7. Argon atmosphere today with Titanium material.

Q8. How do we scale up the acceptance of the Joule printed materials?  We cannot do destructive testing on all production lots.

A8. We have a lot of data – very indicative of the quality and material. We can very realistically estimate the density. The simplicity of the process is a plus.

Q9. Is height control and accuracy an issue?

A9.  It is very accurate. It is a fairly low resolution, so inaccuracy of surface roughness exceeds position (and height).

Q10. Do you plan that future machines will allow the blending of different metal wires simultaneously?

A10. Blending I don’t know yet. We can combine different metals into one print.


Relativity Space – Josh Brost (Relativity)

Q1. How is qualification being done for the components produced?

A1. Primarily by piece parts. We complete a full acceptance test for each flight article. No different than acceptance criteria to a commercial launch. It is the same for primary structures. Not significantly different from traditionally manufactured rocket parts.

Q2. Where does test fit into this time frame?

A2. See above.

Q3. How are your materials certified and the resultant critical components qualified for flight?

A3. No different from other manufacturers.

Q4. Do you use simulations and modeling for testing the parts?

A4. We do.

Q5. Do you use Non-destructive inspection methods in-situ or post fabrication for as printed part?  If so, can you comment on what NDI methods used?

A5. We do use NDI. During and before. In process X-Ray. Eddy Current inspection for printed parts.

Q6. Are any of the printed rocket components re-usable?

A6. Currently no. We do see some in the future for larger payloads.

Q10. And what are the main types of defects or anomalies you might see?

A10. Hot cracking, internal porosity

AM Workshop Update – Greg Kilchenstein (OSD) / Marilyn Gaska / Kelly Visconti (OSD)

Q1. Will CAMDEN operate within the JAMMEX architecture?

A1. Right now, “No”.


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Date(s) - 03/04/2020
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM