Oak Ridge National Laboratory

ORNL Partnership Could Produce the Fastest 3D Printer Yet

The word “slow” is relative. If you are stuck on a two-lane highway behind an old granny out for her Sunday drive, it feels like you are moving slowly, but it’s only very recently that a single human could dream of transportation that moved at such a rapid pace. So, when people claim additive manufacturing (AM) is slow, that too is relative. Compared to plenty of traditional manufacturing situations, AM is positively speedy.

But we always want to go faster. A new partnership between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Cincinnati, Inc. hopes to result in a 3D printer that is 500 times faster than current AM systems, and offers an improved build area of up 10 times current volume. Continue reading

Arcam Releases the Arcam Q10

Although additive manufacturing (AM) has been around for 20+ years, it’s fair to say that it’s just now beginning to make its mark. As the technology advances, some machines are becoming more specialized and targeted at specific types of industry, rather than just general use. While it’s true that even a specialized AM system is still going to have multiple uses, tweaking it just a little bit for specific purposes is a good business model.

With that we come to Arcam’s new electron beam melting system (EBM), the Arcam Q10. As is true for all EBM machines (ASTM directed energy deposition), the Q10 uses an electron beam to melt powdered metals. Commonly used metals include titanium and cobalt-chrome. This new design is meant to replace the A1 for orthopedic manufacturing. Continue reading

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Drives Innovation

The nature of manufacturing is undergoing a fundamental shift. Thanks to additive manufacturing (AM), products or prototypes that used to take days or weeks to construct can now be completed in hours. Companies are beginning to wake up to the potential of AM, and are looking for ways to educate themselves about the technology, and to leverage the power of 3D printing.

In the US, NAMII is one center for innovation, education and development, but it isn’t the only place where there’s a focus on AM. Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Manufacturing Demonstration Facility also provides research assistance, as well as opening access to industrial AM systems to a variety of businesses. Stratasys has formed a partnership with ORNL, and other companies are following its lead. Continue reading

Annual International Wohlers Conference to be Held at Euromold 2012

If you ask most people in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry who they believe is the most recognizable expert in the field, they’ll probably tell you Terry Wohlers, president and founder of Wohlers Associates. Wohlers has appeared on television, radio and in multiple forms of print media, extolling the virtues and explaining the workings of AM.

Wohlers makes the conference rounds, showing up to speak at nearly every important AM event. For the last 14 years, Wohlers Associates has held its own international conference to discuss AM and rapid manufacturing. This year’s conference will be held on November 29 at Euromold 2012.

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Stratasys and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Partner for 3D Printing

Additive manufacturing (AM) is on plenty of people’s minds these days, including those in the U.S. government. In addition to the manufacturing initiative, Stratasys (Rapid Ready company profile here) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have partnered to further AM research. The partnership intends to improve Stratasys’ signature fused deposition modeling (FDM) process.

The joint venture is backed by the Department of Energy (DOE) and will use ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility to propel FDM into a more widely used manufacturing process. The DOE is pursuing AM research to reduce manufacturing energy consumption, increase global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing, and reduce time to market for new consumer goods.

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