REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Aug. 22, 2018) -- The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center have extended the Team Redstone Additive Manufacturing partnership, established in 2014.

AMRDEC Director Dr. Juanita Christensen and MSFC Associate Director Dr. Paul McConnaughey signed an Integrated Product Team Charter Aug. 20, which will provide a means for sharing additive manufacturing knowledge and resources across Redstone Arsenal.

AM is an industrial-grade manufacturing process that enables the creation of lighter, stronger parts and systems. It uses data from computer-aided-design software or scanners to direct hardware to deposit material - layer upon layer -- in precise geometric shapes.

"Additive manufacturing is definitely where we need to go… in moving our technologies forward," said Christensen. "We are re-signing this charter to build on the foundation of additive manufacturing collaboration, to promote research and development of technologies beneficial for all of Team Redstone."

During the past four years, the AMRDEC and MSFC IPT has worked toward several goals including increasing Team Redstone's awareness of AM capabilities and identifying AM research and development needs of the defense and space community. Since May 2014, the IPT has grown to include more than 30 organizations from government, academia, and industry. The team meets on a consistent basis to stay current on changes in the field.

"Many additive manufacturing challenges, such as qualification and certification of parts, expeditionary manufacturing, and construction of complex lightweight structures, are common across Team Redstone," Christensen said. "From an AMRDEC and Army perspective, this is going to be a critical component for where we're going with reducing costs, reducing size, and benefitting where we are going with our Cross Functional Teams as a part of the Army's Futures Command, specifically with Future Vertical Lift and Long Range Precision Fires."

AMRDEC and MSFC have collaborated on topics including printed electronics, printed bi-metallic materials, and qualification and certification of additively manufactured components.

"We know that our investments in innovation and additive won't just be good for us, but they will be good for national infrastructure, defense, and the industrial base," said McConnaughey. "I look forward to the amazing and innovative work we will do together in the future."

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The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is operationally aligned to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, and administratively aligned to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. This joint alignment established a closely woven research, development, acquisition, and sustainment team to provide increased responsiveness to the nation's Warfighters. AMRDEC has the mission to deliver collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions.