Cincinnati (CI, Harrison, OH, US) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL, Knoxville, TN, US) was recognized at the 2015 R&D 100 Awards & Technology Conference in the process/prototyping category for their BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) system. The team also earned the R&D Magazine’s 2015 Editor’s Choice Award.
CI and ORNL partnered in 2014 to develop the large-scale additive manufacturing system capable of printing polymer components up to 10 times larger than currently producible, and at speeds 200 to 500 times faster than existing additive machines. The agreement aims to introduce significant new capabilities to the U.S. machine tool sector, which supplies manufacturing technology to a wide range of industries including automotive, aerospace, appliance and robotics.
“BAAM will revolutionize the method and speed of prototyping, as well as the way tooling and production parts are made,” said Carey Chen, CEO and president of CI. “Aerospace and automotive markets have already been infused with additive’s technology, and the marine market is another prime candidate to benefit from its streamlining effects. Each new market is a catalyst for the usage of new and different materials. CI is leading the way in the large scale and high speed additive manufacturing arena.”
BAAM was designed to allow 3D printing to be used for the production of large parts, quickly. Its ability to use commodity thermoplastic materials means that the cost per part will be reasonable, and by designing a system with an open architecture for material vendors, material costs can be kept lower and allow for more options.
The R&D 100 Awards have identified many high profile industry changing technologies over the last fifty-two years, many of which have gone on to become household names. Examples include the automated teller machine (ATM), fax machine, liquid crystal display (LCD), Nicoderm patch and HDTV.