The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and machine tool manufacturer Cincinnati Incorporated have teamed up to focus on creating a new 3D printer capable of printing objects at 200-500 times the speed and 10 times the size of most current printers.

ORNL and Cincinnati Inc. will build the printer by adapting an existing Cincinati Inc. laser cutting machine to include 3D printing hardware.

Instead of spools of string-like plastic, the printer will rely on the cheaper and more flexible ‘ink’ option of polymer pellets.

The printer will also feature a larger extruder nozzle, enabling the extrusion of more fiber-reinforced material and speeding up the printing process.

The technology behind the new printer is based on knowledge gained through ORNL’s previous collaboration with Lockheed Martin, a major aerospace, defense and advanced technology company, according to project leader Dr. Lonnie Love.

Courtesy Forbes and Gigaom