IACMI, Local Motors partner on composites development and large-scale additive manufacturing

IACMI’s integration of large-scale additive manufacturing and composite materials for vehicle applications seeks to challenge existing designs and define new components to meet longevity and crash performance requirements.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI, Knoxville, Tenn.) announces a new project with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and Local Motors (Phoenix, Ariz.), which will develop materials including reinforcements with advanced composites using large-scale additive manufacturing. The project will demonstrate an integrated design and materials selection, together with a novel, low-cost reinforcing technique used to optimize parts for vehicle application. The joint effort to develop materials and reinforcements for advanced composites using large-scale additive manufacturing will be performed at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. Additionally, the outcomes from the outlined project will enable creation of multiple U.S. facilities that can produce cars with a substantial advanced composite make-up.

Projections include new facilities, new high-skilled jobs in 2017, and complementary impact across a broad range of manufacturing sectors leading to a 50% reduction in design-to-manufacturing cycle time. “The integration of design within the materials selection and manufacture process optimizes vehicle production by reducing cycle time,” says Gregory Haye, Local Motors General Manager. “The partnership with IACMI and its vast group of partners provides access to unique research and development capabilities, ultimately resulting in a more efficient manufacture process for our organization.”

Bryan Dods, IACMI CEO stated: “The Composites Institute’s impact is larger than the project research and development work taking place at our facilities. Collaboration amongst IACMI members spans the entire industry supply chain from material suppliers, BASF (Florham Park, NJ) and TechmerPM (Clinton, Tenn.), to design and manufacturing with Local Motors. Commercialization of new innovations is resulting in the creation of new jobs, expansion of manufacturing facilities and an overall economic development impact benefitting the entire ecosystem of composites manufacturers.”