“ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility: Driving a Manufacturing Innovation Ecosystem” is the topic of the monthly meeting of Friends of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The virtual meeting, which is open to the public, will start at noon on Tuesday, June 8.
The Zoom link can be found by clicking on the lecture title on the homepage of the new FORNL website at www.fornl.org and then clicking the link just below the title on the talk’s descriptive page.
The speaker will be Craig Blue, manager of the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He will present information on the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) model, science and technology breakthroughs, as well as quantitative impacts.
Established in 2012, the MDF is well-known for its development and use of 3D printing technologies, or additive manufacturing, to demonstrate the fabrication of parts using a variety of materials, from polymers and carbon composites to metallic alloys. It is the Department of Energy’s only designated user facility focused on performing early-stage research and development to improve the energy and material efficiency, productivity and competitiveness of American manufacturers.
Its capability areas include polymers and composites, large-scale metals, metal powder systems, machining, metrology and characterization, as well as manufacturing analytics and simulation. The 110,000 square foot facility includes approximately 100 advanced manufacturing systems supporting the production of energy efficient products with benefits extending across the nation’s economy.
The MDF has 4,500 to 6,500 visitors per year (33,400 visitors in total) representing industry, various government agencies, students, academics and decision makers. The interaction introduces a large population to advanced manufacturing and creates a future vision for U.S. industry based on the problems and needs communicated by industry and government.
More than 5,000 companies have visited the MDF since it became operational in 2012. These engagements resulted in more than 190 collaborative research projects. Universities are also deeply engaged in research activities at the MDF with over 50 collaborations in additive manufacturing, and more than 1,000 student internships in manufacturing with over 700 unique students in the MDF since 2012.
Blue, who has a Ph.D. degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Cincinnati, was the founding director of the MDF and the founding chief executive officer of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation; this Composites Institute is part of the White House Manufacturing USA initiative comprising a public-private partnership that aims to increase domestic production capacity, grow manufacturing and create jobs across the U.S. composite industry. Most recently he initiated a national machine tool program, America’s Cutting Edge (ACE), to drive the revitalization of the machine tool industry in the U.S.
Blue has authored approximately 100 open literature publications, holds 23 U.S. patents and has received numerous awards including 10 R&D 100 awards. He has served by invitation on numerous scientific and technical review panels, committees and convocations convened by the National Science Foundation, the Council on Competitiveness, Manufacturing USA, and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. He is a Battelle Distinguished Inventor and fellow of both ASM International and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He has held adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Tennessee, University of North Texas and the Colorado School of Mines.