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3D Printing companies, such as those involved in additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, or thermo-plastic injection molding may be eligible for R&D tax credits for performing qualified research activities. For example, the following activities may be eligible for R&D tax credits:

  • Performing technical research on new and/or improved 3D printing techniques such as additive manufacturing (3D printing by adding materials layer by layer), or subtractive manufacturing (3D objects constructed by cutting materials through machining processes, "CNC machining")

  • Developing new and/or improved injection molding processes within design specifications (e.g. printing cycle time)

  • Developing new and/or improved prototype or scale production mold set(s)

  • Designing new and/or improved over-molding processes

  • Designing new and/or improved robotic extraction system(s) 

  • Designing new and/or improved rapid prototyping application or protocols to build faster, cheaper, or stronger products

  • Designing new and/or enhanced rapid prototyping parameters with increased accuracy and faster printing duration

  • Designing new and/or improved 3D model engineering through computer aided design (CAD) and similar software technologies 

  • Integrating new and/or improved machinery, equipment, or embedded software into existing facilities to enhance operational efficiency

  • Performing quality assurance testing and validation analysis on new and/or improve prototype or processes implementations

  • Testing 3D model(s) through tangible prototype 3D print first articles, computer modeling evaluation (e.g. augmented virtual reality model analysis), or functional experimentation

  • Performing technical research and evaluation on new and/or improved 3D printing processes and technologies, including

    • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), used for thermoplastics, eutectic metals and edible materials;

    • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), for thermoplastics, metal powders and ceramic powders;

    • Electron Beam Melting (EBM), used for titanium alloys;

    • Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM), for paper, metal foil and plastic film; and

    • Stereolithography (SLA), applied to photopolymers.

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