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.
Remotec 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