Two East Tennessee companies are taking advantage of a year-old facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help them build robots used by first responders and medical devices to help set difficult fractures. 

MDF_BladesRemotec and DeRoyal Industries are two of 26 industry and university users recently approved by the lab to take advantage of its Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, a Department of Energy-funded center that seeks to develop and disseminate advanced manufacturing techniques.

DeRoyal and Remotec are using the facility’s additive manufacturing capabilities, particularly sophisticated 3-D printers that cost $1 million or more. Additive manufacturing uses computer models to direct creation of objects, with layers of materials such as powdered metals or polymers added successively in a 3-D printer until the component is completed. The process eliminates the traditional cutting away of material to manufacture a product and is expected to reduce energy use by 50 percent and material costs by up to 90 percent.

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Source: Kay Brookshire | Knoxville News Sentinel | February 4, 2013
Image: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Manufacutring Demonstration Facility