News Release

Air Force boosts funding for technology using artificial intelligence for 3D manufacturing

Grant and Award Announcement

Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - 3D manufacturing technology from a Purdue University-affiliated company may soon play an even bigger part in helping the Department of Defense manage its digital assets to protect the United States.

Imaginestics LLC, a software company headquartered in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, has received a $1.5 million SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Phase II grant through the U.S. Air Force. The award comes after the company was hired in 2017 to create a new system for the Air Force to better manage additive manufacturing (AM).

"Imaginestics' mission is to build artificial intelligence-powered solutions for managing digital assets, which aligns perfectly with the needs of the Air Force," said Jamie Tan, CEO and co-founder of Imaginestics.

Jason Mann, additive manufacturing technical lead for the 76th CMXG Reverse Engineering and Critical Tooling (REACT) lab at Tinker Air Force Base, said, "Imaginestics is building an Additive Manufacturing Advisory System (AMAS) that will provide the Air Force with a method of effectively storing, manipulating and presenting AM data in a form useful to AM engineers. It will provide provenance for AM parts, the ability to see trends in AM equipment performance, and manage the workflow for AM and reverse engineering tasks. Hosting the software on the AWS GovCloud will allow other depots to utilize the software to share AM data between all organizations involved in AM, while also supporting downstream processes that go with AM to minimize depot maintenance cost."

AMAS will include Imaginestics patented visual search technology, VizSeek, to provide the capability to search visually to compare lab images such as grain size and microstructure. The VizSeek technology also allows users to search through historical data to find relevant tooling, part designs, previous quotes and procurement data.

"This platform could essentially allow Air Force personnel to create parts in hours instead of waiting days to track down parts and duplicating efforts," Tan said. "There previously was not a solid system in place to keep track of all the AM and digital assets."

Tan also said AMAS will assist engineers to better understand the relationship between different raw materials, machines, processes and part shapes.

"This is extremely important as it can provide insight as to the potential success or failure to 3D print a given part," said Rob Hill, Imaginestics' principal investigator for the program. "Down the road, recorded data can then be used to predict machine maintenance, saving valuable resources and potential machine downtime."


About Imaginestics LLC

Imaginestics is the creator of VizSeek, a visual search solution that is shaping the way the world searches. Imaginestics is a privately held company headquartered at the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana. More information on Imaginestics and its products is available at

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation and is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The Purdue Research Park manages the Purdue Technology Centers in five sites across the state of Indiana with locations in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. The nearly 240 companies located in the park network employ about 6,000 people. In 2016, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities co-named the Purdue Research Park a top recipient for an Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about leasing space in the Purdue Research Park, contact 765-588-3470 or click Purdue Research Park.

Writer: Chris Adam, 765-588-3341,

Imaginestics contact: Matt Judge,

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