3D Printing

ORNL & Local Motors — Teaming Up for Automotive Production with 3DP

The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement signed by ORNL (The US Dept of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory) to work with Local Motors for developing technology that will allow them to devise ways to produce cleaner and more efficient vehicles and vehicle manufacturing techniques. The intention is to lower production time, reduce cost, improve safety and increase mechanical flexibility without sacrificing aesthetics using both traditional and modern 3D printing and manufacturing techniques.

ornl additive manufacturing 3D PrintingAccording to Local Motors’ CEO, Jay Rogers: “Invoking the principle of open-source, this partnership – and future efforts like it – will drive a true paradigm shift in hardware product development and automotive manufacturing technologies … We are living in a time when speed to market trumps slow-going protectionism. Local Motors’ open development platform is what delivers this very speed.”

Local Motors fully embraces open source development by allowing their large community of users to actually participate in the design process. They contribute ideas, feedback and expose Local Motors current projects to a wider range of critique and scrutiny. They also take great care to use locally sourced materials with the intention of creating more energy efficient vehicles that can be tailored to local and small scale needs. They also make child-sized Lamborghini’s, which I mention because I want one, as I’m pretty sure that I could teach my cat to drive it.

The Oak Ridge National Lab is the United States top high-tech research laboratory and they’re basically the guys who perfected the nuclear reactor. Their Manufacturing Demonstration Facility focuses on the exploration of cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, including subtractive, additive and digital. The goal being to aid the manufacturing industry in adopting new technologies and production techniques that can reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and create new high paying jobs. They are essentially the backbone of the United States research and development community.

“ORNL prides itself on ‘solving the unsolvable’ and ‘making the unmakeable, this partnership will help push the envelope on emerging technologies, such as large scale additive manufacturing, and help accelerate the growth of manufacturing in the United States,” said Energy & Transportation Science Division’s Dr. Lonnie J. Love.

The United States’ top technology research lab teaming up with a major proponent of open source technology development is certain to produce some spectacular results and hopefully a mass-produced 3D printed car. I’d like mine in red please.

If you think you have something to add to the development of the first production 3D printed car, then head over to Local Motors and get started. And If you want to learn more about what ORNL does, check out their YouTube page. You will lose a few hours though, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.