Cincinnati (CI) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) earned top technology product of the year at the 2015 R&D 100 Awards & Technology Conference, in the Process/Prototyping category, for their innovative BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) system. Carey Chen, CEO/President of CI, and Lonnie Love, senior research scientist in the ORNL’s Automation, Robotics, and Manufacturing group, were there to accept the award. The team also earned the R&D Magazine’s 2015 Editor’s Choice Award. Widely recognized as the “Oscars of Invention,” the R&D 100 Awards have been identifying top technology products every year since 1963, and honoring their excellence and innovation.
CI and ORNL partnered in 2014 to develop the large-scale additive manufacturing system capable of printing polymer components up to 10 times larger than currently producible, and at speeds 200 to 500 times faster than existing additive machines. The agreement aims to introduce significant new capabilities to the U.S. machine tool sector, which supplies manufacturing technology to a wide range of industries including automotive, aerospace, appliance and robotics.
“BAAM will revolutionize the method and speed of prototyping, as well as the way tooling and production parts are made,” said Chen. “Aerospace and automotive markets have already been infused with additive’s technology, and the marine market is another prime candidate to benefit from its streamlining effects. Each new market is a catalyst for the usage of new and different materials. CI is leading the way in the large scale and high speed additive manufacturing arena.” Chen added.
BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) is an industrial sized additive machine with proven design and technology from CI’s laser platform. It was designed to allow 3-D printing to be used for the production of large parts, quickly. Its ability to use commodity thermoplastic materials means that the cost per part will be reasonable, and by designing a system with an open architecture for material vendors, material costs can be kept low and allow for more options.
The R&D 100 Awards have identified many high profile industry changing technologies over the last fifty-two years, many of which have gone on to become household names. The automated teller machine (ATM), fax machine, liquid crystal display (LCD), Nicoderm patch and HDTV are but a few that have gone on to shape the world’s culture.