Feb.18, 2014

A new cooperative research and development agreement signed on Monday means the auto and aerospace industries will soon be able to make large parts using 3D printing technology.

The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will partner with Cincinnati Incorporated, a manufacturer of high quality machine tools located in Harrison, Ohio, over the next year to develop a large-scale 3D printer capable of producing large polymer parts much faster and a lot cheaper than today's technologies.

Most 3-D polymer printers on the market today can only fabricate small prototype parts. The new system will be 200 to 500 times faster and capable of printing polymer components 10 times larger than today's common additive machines – in sizes greater than one cubic meter.

Credit Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

Speaking at a press conference Monday, ORNL head Thom Mason mentioned major corporations, such as Boeing, Lockheed and Northrop Grumman, have already shown their interest to the project.

The project will draw on Cincinnati's experience in the design, manufacturing and control of large-scale manufacturing systems, especially laser cutting systems used in metal fabrication. Cincinnati focuses on manufacturing powdered metal compacting presses, a process used to produce high volume production parts for the automotive industry.

ORNL is the largest research center in the U.S. for advanced manufacturing technologies but most systems developed to date have been on a much smaller scale than the one being developed with Cincinnati. The partners will start by incorporating additive manufacturing technology with the machine base of Cincinnati's laser cutting system, creating a prototype, large-scale 3D printer. 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.

Anderson Jamison, the chief executive officer of Cincinnati Incorporated, said he could't say how much the large-scale 3D printer would cost, but he acknowledged each one would cost millions of dollars.

Officials say new technologies like 3D printing will help create new job growth and strengthen US manufacturing and the economy.

Posted in 3D Printers



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive