NNSA, National Nuclear Security Administration, are doing wonderful things with 3D printing, including mitigating climate change! By printing beads that capture carbon dioxide, NNSA labs are helping save our planet.
This is just one of the exciting projects being undertaken by the researchers. They have been able to 3D print materials not found in nature, with specific properties for specific purposes. By designing materials from the inside out, NNSA labs are at the leading edge of innovation enabled by additive manufacturing.
NNSA labs and sites also 3D print models of nuclear weapons for testing and verifying their performance. Key advances in additive manufacturing using metal comes from NNSA research into an advanced process to use a laser to melt successive layers of metal powder to build up shapes. The technique lets engineers design in ways that aren’t possible with standard manufacturing methods and are able to make components that perform better and weigh less.
The award winning researchers from the lab have also 3D printed better armor for warfighters and living tissue. Aside from using 3D printing to maintain America’s nuclear weapons stockpile, NNSA labs are advancing the broader science of the field.
It’s the potential effect on climate change that intrigues me though. If we can use this technology to reverse all the damage we’ve done to the planet, imagine what else we can achieve.
About National Nuclear Security Authotiry
Established by Congress in 2000, the authority is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.