nTopology, a software developer has struck a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The major intention is to improve AM abilities via combined software toolkits. Using this partnership, nTopology will serve with ORNL to fix the latter’s knowledge into the nTop Program with an ultimate perspective to market the resulting software devices.
Serving in partnership, the associates will mix nTopology’s nTop Platform software abilities with ORNL-created device regulation abilities for full-scale polymer additive manufacturing systems. The combination of these abilities will allegedly assist to enhance design for 3D printing via enhanced modeling and design restraints.
The partnership is as well looking to create reclaimable programmable templates for end users of the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL.
Vice President of Partnerships and Business Development at nTopology, Duann Scott had this to say about the partnership: “The team at ORNL is undertaking some of the most cutting-edge research and development of advanced manufacturing processes in the world. Capturing that expertise and making it available as toolkits within nTop Platform will not only enable ORNL, but all nTop users, to leverage that expertise to design and manufacture the most advanced products in the world, and space.”
The CRADA deal is split into two stages. In the initial phase, the associates will create a toolset for the nTop Platform designed for optimizing the design and model arrangement for the whole-format Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) technology.
This initial stage’s goal is to create direct link between ORNL’s slicer and nTopology’s software to make pieces on BAAM mechanisms.
Stage of this will see nTopology and ORNL handle other additive manufacturing technologies. This includes Electron Beam Manufacturing (EBM), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). For EBM, the associates will make a toolset for engineering straight metal grain growth. For FDM, they will make a toolset for designing honeycomb infill depending on ring packing and imitation. Eventually, nTopology will create simulation-based optimization of backing compositions for EBM, BAAM, and DMLS.
ORNL’s lead researcher on the project, Michael Borish said this: “We look forward to collaborating with nTopology to enhance large-scale polymer 3D printing capabilities and anticipate the development of novel software to improve printing processes. As a leader in advanced manufacturing, ORNL works with industry to help them bring new technologies, such as the nTopology software toolkit, to the marketplace.”
The general goal of the CRADA is to enhance full-format polymer additive manufacturing by optimizing build pace and material usage. The software-linked collaboration could as well result in lower manufacturing expenses. This is owing to decreased material usage and machine expense amortization.