10/13/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

Strangpresse Licenses ORNL Extruder Technology for High-Volume Additive Manufacturing

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The extruder increases high-resolution deposition rates, opening up more opportunities for the 3D printing of large parts such as tooling for aerospace.

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Strangpresse has exclusively licensed additive manufacturing-related extruder technology from the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that can quickly 3D print hundreds of pounds of polymer material.

The ORNL inventions include a nozzle that extrudes material to print large parts, such as tooling for aerospace and automotive applications and for prototyping, while achieving fine geometric resolution. The nozzle is said to provide the ability to drastically improve quality and minimize roughness that can occur where the material starts and stops during the printing process.

“Development of the extruder technology increases high-resolution deposition rates by three orders of magnitude, going from about four cubic inches per hour up to 2,400 cubic inches per hour,” said Bill Peter, director of DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at ORNL. “This has opened up the potential applications of additive processes.”

“High-quality seams and fine resolution help minimize the need for postprocessing,” Brian Post, ORNL co-inventor and project leader, said. “This can result in parts being usable almost directly off the printer.”

Strangpresse, a Hapco Inc. affiliate founded in 2014, was formed to research, develop and commercialize fully controllable, lightweight thermoplastic extruders that are the cornerstone of 3D printing. Strangpresse has manufactured extruders for many original equipment manufacturers suppling the big-area and medium-area additive manufacturing markets, both domestically and internationally. 

“Obtaining an exclusive technology license from ORNL helps us secure a more competitive position for Strangpresse as we grow our company,” said Chuck George, the company’s chief executive officer.

“Our researchers are delivering innovative breakthroughs in additive manufacturing to improve material properties and process technologies,” said Moe Khaleel, associate lab director for Energy and Environmental Sciences at ORNL. “We value our industrial partners like Strangpresse to ensure we’re accelerating the path for commercialization to increase American competitiveness.”

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