Metamorphic Manufacturing: Shaping the Future of On-Demand Components

Digital manufacturing has enabled the creation of complex parts with high accuracy. While the first two waves of digital manufacturing — computer numeric control (CNC) machining and additive manufacturing—have driven manufacturing forward, they lack the ability to impart simultaneously low buy-to-fly ratios (reduced raw materials loss) and tailored material properties associated with incremental deformation techniques.

Metamorphic manufacturing is a new innovation under development that attempts to overcome this barrier by combining the incremental deformation of a metalsmith with the precision and control of intelligent machines and robotic systems. The goal of Metamorphic Manufacturing: Shaping the Future of On-Demand Components is to help jump-start this potentially disruptive technology. This new technical report is organized by TMS on behalf of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Naval Materials Science and Technology Division’s Structural Metals Program, and the Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) Manufacturing Institute.

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Study Features

  • Defines a new advanced manufacturing technology, metamorphic manufacturing, that is considered by technical leaders at the Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow manufacturing institute to be the third wave of digital manufacturing.
  • Identifies five foundational elements that provide the basis for the implementation of metamorphic manufacturing.
  • Outlines a number of specific technical challenges and needs that that must be addressed to enable full development and widespread adoption of this technology.
  • Offers recommendations and detailed action plans on how individuals, groups and organizations can get involved and help jump start this potentially transformative technology.

This study was conducted by TMS on behalf of the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) manufacturing institute.

Resources for Sharing Study Content

  • Suggested Citation: The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), Metamorphic Manufacturing: Shaping the Future of On-Demand Components (Pittsburgh, PA: TMS, 2019). Electronic copies available at

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Meet the Study Team
Glenn Daehn, Study Team Lead
Mars G. Fontana Professor of Metallurgical Engineering
The Ohio State University
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John Allison
William F. Hosford Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
University of Michigan
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Elizabeth Bilitz
Metallurgy Manager
Finkl Steel
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David Bourne
Principal Scientist
Carnegie Mellon University
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Jian Cao
Cardiss Collins Professor
Northwestern University
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Kester Clarke
Assistant Professor
Colorado School of Mines
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Johnnie J. DeLoach Jr.
Division Head, Materials
U.S. Naval Surface Warefare Center, Carderock Division
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Ed Herderick
Director, Additive Manufacturing
The Ohio State University Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence
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John Lewandowski
Arthur P. Armington Professor of Engineering II
Case Western Reserve University
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Tony Schmitz
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
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Howard Sizek
Branch Chief
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory
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A. Erman Tekkaya
Technical University of Dortmund
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