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ORNL researchers using additive manufacturing for advanced traction motor prototyping

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are using additive manufacturing (3D printing) to print active components of advanced prototype traction motors.

To date, 3-D printed induction motors are made of plastic core pieces with copper windings to produce ‘motors’ that rotate. Our work focuses on building and testing new complex motor designs that would provide the characteristics—high power density, high efficiency and low cost—needed to take motors to the next level.

—Curt Ayers, who leads the effort that resulted in a motor made with printed metallic parts

Ayers emphasized that this work “isn’t being done simply to produce a motor with 3-D printing.” Instead, the ORNL focus is on the ability to rapidly produce and test various configurations of complex traction drive motors for electric and hybrid vehicles and many other applications.

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