U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Advanced Manufacturing Office
Manufacturing Demonstration Facilities (MDFs)
The DOE Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provides manufacturers access to an array of state-of-the-art additive manufacturing capabilities. The technology shown uses ultrasonic energy (sound) instead of heat and pressure to weld materials at a molecular level. Photo credit: ORNL
MDF equipment, like this electron beam melting (EBM) additive manufacturing powderbed, provide important learning opportunities for students. Photo credit: ORNL
Manufacturing Demonstration Facilities (MDFs) are collaborative manufacturing communities that share a common RD&D infrastructure. This shared infrastructure provides affordable access to advanced physical and virtual tools for rapidly demonstrating new manufacturing technologies and optimizing critical processes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to AMO's first MDF focused on Additive Manufacturing and Low-cost Carbon Fiber.
Fostering Collaboration to Accelerate Progress
Work conducted by MDF partners and users provides real data that is used to reduce the technical risk associated with full commercialization of promising foundational manufacturing process and materials innovations. MDFs are organized to foster an open exchange of pre-competitive manufacturing best-practices and know-how—including design and processing tools, qualification and certification approaches, and fabrication costing methods—while still protecting a company's proprietary intellectual property. MDF staff include designers, manufacturing experts, and product evaluators to guide and train users. Technology developers may use a variety of collaboration instruments. MDFs may also host interns and guest workers from industry, academia, and government.
AMO hosted a MDF Workshop in Chicago on March 12, 2012.