Knox County commissioners toured the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (ORNL MDF) on Cherahala Blvd on December 4, 2018.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs as well as Knox County Commission were present to visit the facility to learn how Knoxville and its surrounding areas leverage regional assets when recruiting businesses to the area.
The touring group was briefed on the regional availability of advanced manufacturing options, as well as potential workforce initiatives and received a firsthand look at ORNL’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.
Among ORNL MDF’s many technologies, it was 3D Printing that took the spotlight. Officials received hands on experience with various types of PLA filament, as well as 3D printed objects.
This included a replica 3D Printed Shelby Cobra. The printed car incorporates “plug and play” components such as new engine, battery, and fuel cell technologies. This allows ORNL researchers quick and easy testing on innovative ideas in a “driving laboratory” of sorts.
Further discussions centered around continuing to keep Knox County accessible to interested business prospects and to remain ready to recruit future corporations and manufacturers.
Speakers included Oak Ridge National Laboratory Lab Director, Thomas Zacharia and Knoxville Chamber’s Executive VP, Rhonda Rice Clayton.