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article image3D printer partnership could mean 300 times faster printing

By Stephanie Medeiros     Feb 27, 2014 in Technology
A new partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Cincinnati Incorporated could mean 3D printing 500 times faster for larger projects about 10 times in size.
Current technology limits the time of a 3D printed project that is larger in size, even when the end result only needs to be a couple of feet. Most printers need a few hours at a time for smaller projects and the bigger 3D printers that promise 3D-printed homes or cars need days to complete everything. However, this current partnership could mean that printing out bigger projects could be sped up 300 to 500 times their current speed, according to GigaOM.
Manufacturer company Cincinnati Incorporated currently has a laser cutting machine that can be outfitted with 3D printing technology to make these claims possible, which is exactly what the partnership will entail with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
While most 3D printers use plastic wrapped up in spools, called filament, this new type of 3D printer will instead use a polymer in pellet form. The unnamed pellet polymer is more efficient and flexible because it is cheaper than the plastic spools and other filaments used typically with 3D printers. Despite this, polymer isn't a common material to use because of preference in the industry.
As reported by 3DPrint.com, the Department of Energy is focusing on several partnerships in order to promote greener technology that is also highly efficient within the United States. On top of the partnership with Cincinnati Inc., there is also another partnership in the works with Local Motors in order to successfully 3D print a greener automobile.
Cincinnati Inc. is most known for their laser cutting machines that were one of the first to include machinery that provides a .001 accuracy for finely tuned projects and have been in business since 1895, collectively shipping out over 55,000 machines.
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