Laser-Cutting Machine the Foundation of a Large-Scale 3D PrinterApril 1, 2014
The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is partnering with machine-tool manufacturer Cincinnati Inc. to develop a large-scale polymer additive-manufacturing (AM) system. The partnership aims to accelerate the commercialization of this new AM machine that can print large polymer parts. The partnership agreement, in support of the DoE’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, hopes to build an AM system that is 200 to 500 times faster than current AM machines, capable of printing polymer components 10 times larger. These new capabilities are expected to support the U.S. tooling sector serving the automotive, aerospace, appliance, robotics and other industries.
“The Energy Department and its national labs are forging partnerships with the private sector to strengthen advanced manufacturing, foster innovation and create clean-energy jobs,” says David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.The partners will start by incorporating AM technology with the machine base of Cincinnati’s laser-cutting system, creating a prototype, large-scale AM system. The research team will then integrate a high-speed cutting tool, pellet-feed mechanism and control software into the gantry system to offer additional capabilities.
See also: Cincinnati Inc.