The U.S. has struggled to gain a worldwide market share of molds for 3D printing of metal components. But an enhanced partnership between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lincoln Electric, announced at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing InnovationXLab Summit, promises to change that.
The new agreement builds upon ORNL and Lincoln Electric’s previous developments by extending additive technology to new materials, leveraging data analytics, and enabling rapid manufacture of metal components in excess of 100 pounds per hour.
These developments will focus on increasing throughput while lowering costs and improving the quality of large-scale additively manufactured metallic structures essential for multiple industrial applications.
“Approximately 60-80% of molds for the manufacturing of metallic components are produced overseas,” said ORNL Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Environmental Science Moe Khaleel. “With this new collaboration, U.S. manufacturers will be able to showcase their ability to manufacture tools, dies and molds additively with reduced costs and lead times while maintaining speed and a quality build.”
The partnership continues the successful relationship Lincoln Electric and the Manufacturing Demonstration Team at ORNL have enjoyed over the past three years. “Together, we will continue to advance the technical boundaries of additive manufacturing as Lincoln Electric commercializes this innovative manufacturing capability, which will benefit a broad array of manufacturing sectors,” said Tom Matthews, Lincoln Electric senior vice president for technology and R&D.
The Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL is supported by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). AMO supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security.
Lincoln Electric, designs, develops and manufactures arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment. Headquartered in Cleveland, Lincoln Electric maintains a leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloys market, with 60 manufacturing locations in 19 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries.