Machine tool research focuses on developing technologies to include subtractive manufacturing capabilities in existing additive manufacturing machines. Machine tool technology provides the opportunity for the manufacturing of a part and the subsequent needed machining, shaping or fine-tuning to occur within one system or a combination of equipment.
ORNL’s machining efforts include developing and deploying simple, intuitive tools built on machine science, making it easier for machine tool users to quickly determine the best cutting conditions for a system and to know those conditions at the time the part is developed. By adding the right parts to existing additive manufacturing machines, overall production costs can be reduced while efficiency, reliability and speed of production can be significantly improved. Focus areas include optimizing usage of existing installed machines; developing new machines for the manufacturing of new parts; developing computer design tools to leverage newly created capabilities; and formulating design methodologies for new manufacturing capabilities.