NASA Langley to Showcase Novel Manufacturing Technology at Industry Forum

HAMPTON, Va. — NASA is hosting a two-day industry forum Sept. 20-21 to help bring tomorrow's manufacturing closer to reality.

Key industry stakeholders will meet to consider the future of electron-beam freeform fabrication, and NASA will be presenting a novel system that can be applied to electron-beam welding systems.

The forum, sponsored by NASA's Langley Research Center, Old Dominion University Business Gateway, and Virginia Project Lead the Way (PLTW), is being facilitated by RTI International.

NASA's system consists of an electron-beam gun, wire feeder, and positioning system enclosed in a vacuum chamber. Like other e-beam systems, the NASA system focuses the electron beam to melt a material, in this case metal wire, which is then accurately deposited layer by layer according to computer-aided design data to fabricate a three-dimensional structural part without the need for a die or mold.

The forum, held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, will give industry and government participants an opportunity to learn about NASA's technology as well as join in collective discussions on advancements, research, and funding by other government agencies, prime contractors, and universities.

The forum will also have panel discussions on challenges that include qualification and certification, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding and results, data sharing, and innovative designs enabled by electron-beam freeform fabrication.

More information on the conference can be found at