Brian Post, associate research staff in the Manufacturing Systems Research Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will present “How Bigger is Better in Additive Manufacturing” at the UT Science Forum Friday, February 12.
In 1960, Professor Richard Feynman stated “There’s plenty of room at the bottom.” He was referring to the great potential in miniaturization, which ushered in the age of computers, cell phones, MEMS, and micromachining. Not only was there room at the bottom, there was PLENTY of room.
Today there is great interest in additive manufacturing and how it can transform manufacturing and products. People are printing anything from fuel injectors for jet engines, heat exchangers, robotic components to cell phone covers and Yoda heads. Additive manufacturing’s strength is the ability to manufacture low volumes of complex parts. But today everything is relatively small. What happens if you can print large items – cars, trucks, boats, houses – even wind turbine blades? What happens if manufacturing can transition from a few massive factories assembling identical cars, planes, refrigerators to hundreds, even thousands of small factories printing out customized appliances, cars, boats, furniture? Bigger is better in additive manufacturing because there’s plenty of room at the top.
The UT Science Forum takes place in the Thompson-Boling Arena, Rooms C-D from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the Arena Cafe. Each 45-minute presentation is followed by a Q&A session.
The UT Science Forum is free and open to the public.