America Makes Announces Project Call for Optical Components

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – America Makes has announced a new project call focusing on optics technology to support the U.S. Air Force.

The Additive for eXtreme Improvement in Optical Mounts – or Axiom – project call seeks “innovative solutions to enhance readiness of high-precision optical components used in sensors, space systems and other applications by developing and demonstrating novel designs enabled by additive manufacturing,” according a news release issued by the organization Wednesday.

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division, is funding the project call. 

The Air Force laboratory and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, which manages America Makes, plan to make approximately $560,000 available to fund one award with at least $280,000 in matching funds from the awarded project team, for total funding of $840,000.

“The Axiom project call represents an incredible opportunity to advance both [additive manufacturing] design and materials technologies given the geometric complexity and performance requirements of high-precision optical components,” said Brandon Ribic, America Makes technology director, in the announcement. 

The project call provides “a tremendous opportunity for America Makes to support key initiatives and critical capabilities” as outlined in the Air Force’s science and technology strategy, a 10-year blueprint to maintaining its strategic and operational advantages, said John Wilczynski, America Makes executive director. 

It will allow the Air Force “to leverage disruptive innovations, remain ahead of rapidly developing state and military competitors, and contribute to our nation’s defense security,” he added. 

Domestic and foreign members who are in good standing with America Makes are eligible to participate. Only the lead proposer must be a member of America Makes. 

Proposers will proceed directly to developing and submitting a full proposal. Proposal teams will have approximately four weeks to submit their full proposals to America Makes, which are due by 5 p.m. EDT June 8. Submissions must be emailed to with “America Makes AXIOM PROJECT PROPOSAL” as the subject line.

All the technical requirements of the Axiom project call are detailed fully in the Request for Proposal document available on the America Makes website.

America Makes will convene a kickoff webinar Tuesday at 2 p.m. EDT to review project criteria, followed by a brief question-and-answer session. Registration is available here.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.