Source: 3D Printing | October 29, 2018

The Manufacturing Innovator Challenge poster. Image via Freelancer

The Manufacturing Innovator Challenge poster. Ciredit: Freelancer, a Sydney-based crowdsourcing website, has partnered with the U.S Department of Energy (DoE) to launch the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge. The Challenge will explore energy-efficient 3D printing solutions.

Sarah Tang, Freelancer’s Vice President, Enterprise, said “… it is now the U.S. Department of Energy’s turn to tap into the millions of talented freelancers in the marketplace. This new partnership between and the U.S. Department of Energy may well deliver industry-changing solutions to problems in the manufacturing and energy sectors.”

The program was launched on the Manufacturing Day, a day celebrating modern manufacturing. Each year it takes place on the first October week. This year it occurred on the 5th October.

The Manufacturing Innovator Challenge includes six topics with prizes are between $2,500-$10,000.Innovative and feasible 3D printing solutions

The six additive manufacturing challenges are:

– Additive Manufacturing for Disaster Response: large-scale on-site additive manufacturing of critical components, such as electricity poles

– Solid State Lighting (SSL) Manufacturing Concept: this topic will focus on 3D printing of optical materials

– Novel Concepts for Large Scale 3D Printing

– Biobased Additive Manufacturing (BAM)

– Low-Cost Portable Refrigerant Leak Detector for Residential Use

– Lightweight Turbocharger Turbine Wheel

A Big Area Additive Manufacturing Machine (BAAM) at ORNL, one of DOE’s prime facilities. Credit: DOE

In each of these cases, the concept will be evaluated on the basis of their innovation, impact, and feasibility.

Applications for Additive Manufacturing for Disaster Response and Solid State Lighting (SSL) Manufacturing Concept are currently open till 7th December 2018.

Department of Energy and 3D printing

The DoE is one of the most active U.S government departments in 3D printing.

Earlier this the solar power industry received a boost from the DoE. The department initiated a $3 million prize to integrate 3D printing into the manufacturing operations of the solar industry.

It was also reported that in a DoE funded project, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) developed live monitoring of melt-process within a machine.

The DoE also awarded $7 million to various energy projects employing 3D printing technology.