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Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s extruder technology can quickly print hundreds of pounds of polymer material.

Stephen Moore

October 16, 2017

3 Min Read
Strangpresse exclusively licenses extruder technology for high-volume additive manufacturing

Ohio-based Strangpresse has exclusively licensed additive manufacturing-related extruder technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory that can quickly print hundreds of pounds of polymer material.

Michelle Buchanan, deputy for science and technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Chuck George, chief executive officer of Strangpresse, signed an agreement for Strangpresse to exclusively license ORNL’s extruder technology for additive manufacturing to 3D print large parts, such as tooling for aerospace and automotive applications and for prototyping. Credit: Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Teams from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and industry partner Strangpresse celebrate their collaboration during a technology license signing ceremony held at ORNL. Ohio-based Strangpresse has exclusively licensed ORNL’s extruder technology that can quickly 3D print hundreds of pounds of polymer material. Credit: Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy 

The ORNL inventions include an innovative nozzle that extrudes material to print large parts, such as tooling for aerospace and automotive applications and for prototyping, while achieving fine geometric resolution, and the ability to drastically improve quality and minimize roughness that can occur where the material starts and stops during the printing process.

“Development of the extruder technology increases high resolution deposition rates by three orders of magnitude, going from about four cubic inches per hour up to 2,400 cubic inches per hour,” said Bill Peter, director of DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. “This has opened up the potential applications of additive processes.”

“High-quality seams and fine resolution help minimize the need for post processing,” Brian Post, ORNL co-inventor and project leader, said. “This can result in parts being usable almost directly off the printer.”

Strangpresse, a Hapco Inc. affiliate founded in 2014, was formed to research, develop and commercialize fully controllable, lightweight thermoplastic extruders that are the cornerstone of 3D printing. The company supplies extruders and other equipment for research and development in additive manufacturing. Strangpresse was the first company to license ORNL’s suite of patents associated with large-scale additive manufacturing on a non-exclusive basis in 2015.

Strangpresse has manufactured extruders for many original equipment manufacturers suppling the big-area and medium-area additive manufacturing markets, both domestically and internationally. The company’s leadership team has more than 70 years’ experience in the thermoplastic extrusion industry.

“Obtaining an exclusive technology license from ORNL helps us secure a more competitive position for Strangpresse as we grow our company,” said Chuck George, the company’s chief executive officer.

“Our researchers are delivering innovative breakthroughs in additive manufacturing to improve material properties and process technologies,” said Moe Khaleel, associate lab director for Energy and Environmental Sciences at ORNL. “We value our industrial partners like Strangpresse to ensure we’re accelerating the path for commercialization to increase American competitiveness.”

The MDF is supported by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. AMO supports early-stage applied research and development of new materials, information and processes that improve American manufacturing's energy efficiency, as well as platform technologies for manufacturing clean energy products.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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