Source: Composites World | Scott Francis | May 2, 2019

Source | The University of Maine

The ORNL and UMaine research team will work with the forest products industry to produce new bio-based materials that will be conducive to 3D printing a variety of products.

A new research collaboration between the University of Maine (Orono, Maine, U.S.) Advanced Structures and Composites Center and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.) aims to advance efforts to 3D print with wood products.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and Angus King (Maine) joined Daniel Simmons, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as leaders from UMaine and ORNL in Washington, D.C., May 2 to announce the launch of the large-scale, bio-based additive manufacturing program.

The ORNL and UMaine research team will work with the forest products industry to produce new bio-based materials that will be conducive to 3D printing a variety of products, such as boat hull molds, shelters, building components, tooling for composites and wind blades. They also will position the industry to print large, structurally demanding systems, such as boats.

“The development of sustainable, inexpensive wood-based materials for large-scale 3D printing has the potential to invigorate Maine’s forest products industry,” says Collins. “This project is an outstanding example of our national labs working cooperatively with universities to drive American innovation and strengthen our economy.”

“The partnership between the University of Maine and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a model for how science and technology can help Americans prosper in the new economy,” says Alexander.

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