OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed the technology to manufacture parts for cars, airplanes, and drones through 3D printing according to a release from ORNL.
The technology, called additive manufacturing compression molding (AMCM), prints a short-fiber-filled polymer and continuous fiber onto a mold, which is then compressed, ORNL said in the release.
The process results in accurate finished pieces and can be used to make parts like propeller blades and battery boxes. ONRL explained that the process could accelerate the decarbonization of vehicles, airplanes, and drones.
Additionally, ORNL says researchers found that they could produce 100 parts in five hours, and each piece takes less than 3 minutes to print.
“By combining the fiber control of additive with the low porosity of compression molding, we can enable the high-volume production of next-generation composites,” ORNL’s Vipin Kumar said. “The mobility and aerospace industries need these lightweight materials to improve the energy efficiency of their applications.”
Vipin Kumar, Vlastimil Kunc and Ahmed A. Hassen are listed as researchers on the endeavor.
AMCM was recently licensed by Orbital Composites, and ORNL says it collaborated with the California-based company to develop AMCM on a robotic system. IACMI – The Composites Institute also collaborated in the venture, ORNL added.