Thu 19, Apr 2018
News & Image Source: ORNL
Magnum Venus Products (MVP) and Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), in partnership installed the first commercially available medium/large-scale thermoset 3D printer at the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Tennessee this week.
While 3D printers have been around for years, the additive manufacturing industry has desperately needed a cost-effective solution that could print structures and molds. MVP engaged with ORNL to create a 3D printer capable of printing large-scale thermosets, chemistries that are irreversibly cured from a prepolymer or resin.
“Thanks to this innovation, research and development managers will be able to prototype faster and bring products to market faster,” said Bob Vanderhoff, President and CEO Magnum Venus Products. “Procurement departments will also enjoy shortened lead time on crucial molds – allowing for rapid deployment. This was made possible through ORNL slicing software that allows the integration of multivariate print process parameters.
This is a big deal for the 3D printing industry because it has been badly in need of a way to 3D print large molds and structures that will hold up under industrial conditions.
“We’re pleased to collaborate with MVP on this state-of-the-art printer and look forward to seeing the technology continue to progress and positively impact the additive manufacturing industry,” said Moe Khaleel, ORNL Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Environmental Sciences. “This collaboration is important for accelerating the pace with which new technologies can be successfully commercialized, leading to a larger range of applications and performance criteria for additively manufactured components, while creating new jobs and increased prosperity in our region.”
The roll-in/roll-out bed configuration of the MVP thermoset printer dramatically increases the productivity of additive manufacturing. The configuration allows the printer to operate while pre- and post-processing operations are performed on an additional print bed outside of the machine. The benefits include rapid prototyping molds, rapid mold building, and creativity with an all-new material for cutting-edge companies.
ORNL contributed to the project through a Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions Technology Commercialization Fund project managed by the Advanced Manufacturing Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.