ORNL BAAM

nTopology and Oak Ridge National Laboratory join under new R&D agreement

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nTopology’s nTop Platform is set to make a big impact on 3D printing at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) thanks to a new R&D agreement between the pair.

As part of the first phase, ORNL’s giant polymer 3D printer – Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) – will now have connectivity from nTop Platform directly to the ORNL slicer to successfully fabricate parts.

Capabilities being developed are intended to be made commercially available to broader, advanced-manufacturing market, and ultimately result in the optimisation of build speed and materials use for large 3D-printed components and cost savings due to reduced material usage and machine cost amortisation.

ntopology and ORNL
Duann Scott (left), Philip Schiffrin (center) and Jonathan Harris (right), from nTopology, at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory facility to kick off the project

Phase two looks to include the creation of a toolkit to engineer direct metal grain growth with an Electron Beam Manufacturing (EBM) system, such as a GE Additive Arcam system, and developing an additional toolkit to design honeycomb infill based on circle packing and simulation for fused deposition modelling (FDM).

nTopology will also develop simulation-based optimisation of support structures for BAAM, Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and EBM.

“The team at ORNL is undertaking some of the most cutting-edge research and development of advanced-manufacturing processes in the world,” said Duann Scott, VP of partnerships and business development at nTopology.

“Capturing that expertise and making it available as toolkits within nTop Platform will not only enable ORNL, but all nTop users, to leverage that expertise to design and manufacture the most advanced products in the world, and space.”

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