Strangpresse licenses ORNL extruder tech for high-volume additive manufacturing
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 12, 2017 – Ohio-based Strangpresse has exclusively licensed additive manufacturing-related extruder technology from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory that can quickly print hundreds of pounds of polymer material.
The ORNL inventions include an innovative nozzle that extrudes material to print large parts, such as tooling for aerospace and automotive applications and for prototyping, while achieving fine geometric resolution, and the ability to drastically improve quality and minimize roughness that can occur where the material starts and stops during the printing process.
"Development of the extruder technology increases high resolution deposition rates by three orders of magnitude, going from about four cubic inches per hour up to 2,400 cubic inches per hour," said Bill Peter, director of DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. "This has opened up the potential applications of additive processes."
"High-quality seams and fine resolution help minimize the need for post processing," Brian Post, ORNL co-inventor and project leader, said. "This can result in parts being usable almost directly off the printer."
Strangpresse, a Hapco Inc. affiliate founded in 2014, was formed to research, develop and commercialize fully controllable, lightweight thermoplastic extruders that are the cornerstone of 3D printing. They supply extruders and other equipment for research and development in additive manufacturing to industry leaders. Strangpresse was the first company to license ORNL's suite of patents associated with large-scale additive manufacturing on a non-exclusive basis in 2015.
Strangpresse has manufactured extruders for many original equipment manufacturers suppling the big-area and medium-area additive manufacturing markets, both domestically and internationally. The company's leadership team has more than 70 years' experience in the thermoplastic extrusion industry.
"Obtaining an exclusive technology license from ORNL helps us secure a more competitive position for Strangpresse as we grow our company," said Chuck George, the company's chief executive officer.
"Our researchers are delivering innovative breakthroughs in additive manufacturing to improve material properties and process technologies," said Moe Khaleel, associate lab director for Energy and Environmental Sciences at ORNL. "We value our industrial partners like Strangpresse to ensure we're accelerating the path for commercialization to increase American competitiveness."
The MDF is supported by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office. AMO supports early-stage applied research and development of new materials, information and processes that improve American manufacturing's energy efficiency, as well as platform technologies for manufacturing clean energy products.
UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE's Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov/.