Cincinnati Inc., ORNL sign additive manufacturing patent agreement

Under the agreement, Cincinnati Inc. may make, use or sell the lab’s patented developments of enhanced additive manufacturing.

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The US Department of Energy's (DoE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN, US) and Cincinnati Inc. (Harrison, OH, US) have signed a nonexclusive licensing agreement on ORNL patents related to large-scale additive manufacturing.

Under the agreement, Cincinnati Inc. may make, use or sell the Lab’s patented developments of enhanced additive manufacturing with a reciprocating platen that enables the manufacture of parts much larger and with higher quality than current standards.

The speed of next-generation additive manufacturing offers new opportunities for the automotive, aerospace and prototyping industries, says Lonnie Love, leader of ORNL’s Manufacturing Systems Research group.

“Our goal is to demonstrate the potential of large-scale additive manufacturing as an innovative and viable manufacturing technology,” Love says. “We want to improve digital manufacturing solutions for the automotive industry.”

The additive manufacturing agreement is the latest in a series of ORNL advances that include the production of a 3D printed vehicles at DoE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL, including a reproduction Shelby Cobra that debuted in early 2015.

A portfolio of ORNL patents associated with large-scale additive manufacturing is available for licensing on a nonexclusive basis. ORNL says it and UT-Battelle work with licensees to ensure successful commercialization of licensed technologies.

Founded in the late 1890s as the Cincinnati Shaper Co., Cincinnati Inc. is one of a handful of US-based, build-to-order machine tool manufacturers. The company manufactures, among other machines, the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) system, based in part on additive manufacturing technology developed in cooperation with ORNL.

ORNL's additive manufacturing technology development was supported by DoE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). AMO supports applied research, development and demonstration of new materials and processes for energy efficiency in manufacturing as well as platform technologies for the manufacturing of clean energy products.