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Researchers Aim to Revolutionize 3D Printing, Global Manufacturing

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A generic 3D printer.

Researchers are working to develop new materials for use in 3D printing, as well as techniques for building products with 3D printing using multiple materials.

Credit: Computerworld

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers are developing new materials to be used for additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, and are working on a technique for building multiple materials into the same product.

LLNL's Eric Duoss says the research is going to revolutionize manufacturing because it is about creating the ability to tailor properties and achieve property combinations that would have been previously impossible to create.

The researchers want to enable manufacturers to build more using additive manufacturing, and to be able to build things that are impossible to build using existing methods. "Hopefully, it will be a new way of manufacturing with a lot more possibilities and less cost, time, and real estate needed to manufacture things," Duoss says.

The researchers are using data-mining techniques and a computer cluster with 160 processors to develop algorithms and software to study the process at a microscopic level. The researchers also are working to alter the materials used in additive manufacturing.

"We can take the same base material...and by changing the architecture of it, we can make it stronger, more lightweight, and make it react differently to heat," Duoss says.

Creating a wider array of materials to use in additive manufacturing would be a key development, says IDC's Robert Parker.

From Computerworld
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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