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Army, Clemson University to Build Digital Fabrication System

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The U.S. Army teamed up with Clemson University to develop an artificial intelligence-based digital life cycle system that will design, study and fabricate parts for various applications. The platform is intended to produce 3D-printed components including air and ground vehicle structures, the Army said Tuesday.

"As part of the new project, we will develop a database of raw materials, including metals, plastics and composite materials, that could then be used to train artificial intelligence and create digital models of potential new feedstock materials," Srikanth Pilla, a Robert Patrick Jenkins-endowed professor at Clemson University's college of engineering, computing and applied sciences and director of Clemson Composites Center.

Pilla added the center is using thermophysical testing equipment, high-speed cameras, spectroscopic gear, quasi-static and dynamic drop-tower test infrastructure, optical metrology and 3D printers to build the platform.

A team of researchers will print and test samples dubbed as coupons to validate the components' thermophysical, chemical and mechanical traits. The Army Research Laboratory also teamed up with 3D systems to assemble a composite printer for the project.

ARL and Clemson University are set to hold a symposium to tackle their collaborative programs and discuss topics such as manufacturing sciences and engineering.