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TIA: Tennessee Inventors Association in Knoxville Tenn and Oak Ridge TN
Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN  

September 2013 Dr. Lonnie Love and the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility

Meeting Date: 
September 28, 2013

The agenda for the September meeting included a presentation by local inventor Mariano Ruiz and a presentation by Dr. Love and the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL.

On September 28th, 2013 TIA started with the usual Shark Tank type product presentation by TIA member Mariano Ruiz. His product is named D-ON and is focused towards the fitness industry.

After the 15 minute presentation, TIA members had a tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) 3D printing Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF). The tour was conducted by Dr. Lonnie Love, the group leader of the automation, robotics and manufacturing department.

ORNL’s MDF focuses on R&D for advance materials and manufacturing technologies. The tour was targeted towards showing additive manufacturing, the industrial version of 3-D printing. The 3-D printing process consists of adding ultrathin layers of material one by one. MDF provides physical and virtual tools to manufacturing processes by reducing energy intensity, and production costs. MDF has state of the art technologies for metal and polymer material system including electron beam melting, ultrasonic, extrusion and laser deposition. These processes required computer software such as CAD to produce a 3D drawing. Consecutively, the XYZ coordinates are feed to stepper/servo motors to shape the prototype. Encoders are used to read the exact position of the motors and the computer uses a closed loop control system to ensure the commands are followed precisely.

Electron beam melting (EBM) is a mainly used for metal parts and it is considered a rapid manufacturing method. Basically, an electron beam in vacuum melts metal powder layer by layer. The parts produced by this method are extremely strong.