Fluid Power and Additive Manufacturing

Eric Lanke NFPA CEO

  l

l

by Eric Lanke

One of the biggest splashes at the recent IMTS show in Chicago was the 3D-printed car. In case you haven’t heard the news, the folks at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Local Motors, and Cincinnati, Inc. worked together to create the additive manufacturing technology needed to 3D print a car frame, attach an engine and necessary components, and drive it off the show floor. There are pictures of it all over the internet.

What’s this got to do with fluid power? Well, currently, not much. But the potential is clearly there to see what use our industry can make of the same additive manufacturing capabilities. Because the same people who worked with Local Motors and Cincinnati and available and interested in working with companies focused on hydraulics and pneumatics.

Mike Gust and I spoke to one of the ORNL guys, who confirmed that their Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, and the advanced additive manufacturing machines it contains, is looking for industry partners to conduct applied projects with—testing the limits of their technology and its practical use for dozens of industries. They even have funding available. All they require from industry is the project idea and some dedicated time from one of the company’s engineers.

Mike is going to gather some more details and help me send a specific call out to NFPA members, looking for project ideas and possible partners. Knowing that a lot of the industry is going to be visiting ORNL and their Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at the end of the upcoming Fluid Power Innovation and Research Conference, we’re especially interested in getting some fluid power projects started.

Contact me with any questions, elanke@nfpa.com.

Recent Posts

NFPA Seeking Volunteers for Electrification in Fluid Power Task Force

Deadline to Respond is August 18, 2022 Electrification is a buzzword throughout most industries now and is a common topic being discussed at conferences, events, and board rooms. While many businesses and industries have already embraced electrification, others are still working to understand the impacts, opportunities, and decision points to make. To add further confusion,…

Read More

In Memoriam: Tom Wanke

The National Fluid Power Association is saddened to share the news that Tom Wanke, CFPE, director of the Fluid Power Industrial Consortium and Industry Relations at Milwaukee School of Engineering, passed away June 21, 2022. “Tom’s impact on the fluid power industry will be felt for generations,” said Eric Lanke, president and CEO of the…

Read More

Meet a Fluid Power Scholarship Winner – Brendan McCluskey

Programs like the Fluid Power Scholarships are made possible in part by the generous support of industry volunteers as well as NFPA Education and Technology Foundation and Pascal Society donors. Support these efforts by making a donation. The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation has awarded nineteen $2,000 scholarships to students pursuing fluid power technology fields of study. Here’s one of the winners, Brendan McCluskey.…

Read More