In 2015, researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory reproduced a classic 1962 Shelby Cobra by printing the 1,400-pound carbon car in just 24 hours on the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine, which can manufacture strong, lightweight composite parts without the need for tooling.
Such additive, or 3D printing, is revolutionizing how and where products are made and assembled. Four years after printing the heralded Cobra model, researchers here have an even more ambitious project they call their moon shot. Even in a place that first harnessed the power of the atom for military and then peaceful purposes more than a half century ago, it's an audacious undertaking.
Oak Ridge researchers are trying to use additive manufacturing to print a nuclear reactor, or at least a micro-reactor. The prototype, which lab director Thomas Zacharia has pledged to build within two years, would be about the size of a trash can. But the micro-reactor could offer huge payoffs for America's nuclear power industry.
Read the full story, "Oak Ridge advanced manufacturing facility develops technologies for new methods of production," at timesfreepress.com.