3D Printing

Researchers create a 3D-printed vehicle that can power a 3D-printed home (and vice versa)

Researchers create a 3D-printe...
Dubbed AMIE (Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy), the innovative platform features special technology that allows a bi-directional flow of energy between a dwelling and a vehicle
Dubbed AMIE (Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy), the innovative platform features special technology that allows a bi-directional flow of energy between a dwelling and a vehicle
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Installing the window of the 3D-printed home
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Installing the window of the 3D-printed home
Carbon fiber-reinforced ABS plastic composite material was used to print approximately 80 percent of the house components
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Carbon fiber-reinforced ABS plastic composite material was used to print approximately 80 percent of the house components
The current vehicle prototype was not designed around optimum speed or performance, but more to demonstrate the capabilities of AMIE
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The current vehicle prototype was not designed around optimum speed or performance, but more to demonstrate the capabilities of AMIE
A research team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Department of Energy has created a new model for how we can connect the way we power our homes and vehicles
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A research team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Department of Energy has created a new model for how we can connect the way we power our homes and vehicles
AMIE boasts the world's very first working level 2 (6.6 kW) bi-directional power system
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AMIE boasts the world's very first working level 2 (6.6 kW) bi-directional power system
The building is fitted with a flexible 3.2 kW solar photovoltaic system, which is then paired with electric vehicle batteries, providing renewable power generation and storage
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The building is fitted with a flexible 3.2 kW solar photovoltaic system, which is then paired with electric vehicle batteries, providing renewable power generation and storage
Energy can flow in either direction between the house and the vehicle via a wireless transfer system with 85 percent efficiency
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Energy can flow in either direction between the house and the vehicle via a wireless transfer system with 85 percent efficiency
ORNL worked alongside architectural studio Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to construct the 210 sq ft building
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ORNL worked alongside architectural studio Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to construct the 210 sq ft building
The single-room structure was built using 3D-printed parts and features curved lines and cost effective vacuum insulated panels
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The single-room structure was built using 3D-printed parts and features curved lines and cost effective vacuum insulated panels
Although the weight of the vehicle is currently close to 4,010 lb, additional research will go into developing a lightweight version
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Although the weight of the vehicle is currently close to 4,010 lb, additional research will go into developing a lightweight version
The vehicle in testing, without the final aesthetics
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The vehicle in testing, without the final aesthetics
Building of the 3D-printed utility vehicle
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Building of the 3D-printed utility vehicle
The 3D-printed vehicle features an electric hybrid power-train, which uses natural gas to extend its range
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The 3D-printed vehicle features an electric hybrid power-train, which uses natural gas to extend its range
Carbon fiber-reinforced ABS plastic composite material was used to print approximately 30 percent of the vehicle's components
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Carbon fiber-reinforced ABS plastic composite material was used to print approximately 30 percent of the vehicle's components
The wireless power system for AMIE is the world’s first Level 2 (6.6 kW) bi-directional system designed and built
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The wireless power system for AMIE is the world’s first Level 2 (6.6 kW) bi-directional system designed and built
Thanks to creating the vehicle with 3D-printed components, it's reported quite easy to change the appearance of the vehicle with new body parts
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Thanks to creating the vehicle with 3D-printed components, it's reported quite easy to change the appearance of the vehicle with new body parts
Thanks to creating the vehicle with 3D-printed components, it's reported quite easy to change the appearance of the vehicle with new body parts
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Thanks to creating the vehicle with 3D-printed components, it's reported quite easy to change the appearance of the vehicle with new body parts
The AMIE building getting delivered to campus
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The AMIE building getting delivered to campus
The home is equipped with arooftop photovoltaic system that's paired with batteries from a previously used Fiat 500e
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The home is equipped with arooftop photovoltaic system that's paired with batteries from a previously used Fiat 500e
ORNL is currently considering the option of making the plans open source and there is talk of an AMIE 2.0, incorporating improvements and lessons learnt from AMIE 1.0
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ORNL is currently considering the option of making the plans open source and there is talk of an AMIE 2.0, incorporating improvements and lessons learnt from AMIE 1.0
The AMIE demonstration, displayed at DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Industry Day event, is a model for energy-efficient systems that link buildings, vehicles and the grid
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The AMIE demonstration, displayed at DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Industry Day event, is a model for energy-efficient systems that link buildings, vehicles and the grid
AMIE illustrates what our future might look like if we shared our energy streams for buildings and transportation, using additive manufacturing as a tool to drive rapid innovation
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AMIE illustrates what our future might look like if we shared our energy streams for buildings and transportation, using additive manufacturing as a tool to drive rapid innovation
The AMIE building is made with energy efficient modified atmosphere insulation (MAI) panels
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The AMIE building is made with energy efficient modified atmosphere insulation (MAI) panels
BWPT uses a resonant technology that allows higher wireless power transfer efficiencies through larger gaps
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BWPT uses a resonant technology that allows higher wireless power transfer efficiencies through larger gaps
The original idea for the AMIE demonstration project was inspired by asking what would our infrastructure look like if the energy streams for buildings and transportation were developed jointly instead of independently
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The original idea for the AMIE demonstration project was inspired by asking what would our infrastructure look like if the energy streams for buildings and transportation were developed jointly instead of independently
To offset the uncertainty of power, the vehicle’s natural gas engine provides complementary power to the building
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To offset the uncertainty of power, the vehicle’s natural gas engine provides complementary power to the building
Building the structure
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Building the structure
3D printing allowed single curved components to easiiy lock into one another
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3D printing allowed single curved components to easiiy lock into one another
Elements of the micro-kitchen
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Elements of the micro-kitchen
The home is equipped with a micro-kitchen concept, developed by GE FirstBuild
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The home is equipped with a micro-kitchen concept, developed by GE FirstBuild
Advanced building control and power management strategies are used to integrate the various energy systems, while also using the building as a virtual battery through demand-side load management
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Advanced building control and power management strategies are used to integrate the various energy systems, while also using the building as a virtual battery through demand-side load management
A flexible 3.2 kW solar photovoltaic system paired with electric vehicle batteries provides renewable power generation and storage
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A flexible 3.2 kW solar photovoltaic system paired with electric vehicle batteries provides renewable power generation and storage
Carbon fiber-reinforced ABS plastic composite material was used to print approximately 80 percent of the house components
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Carbon fiber-reinforced ABS plastic composite material was used to print approximately 80 percent of the house components
The fact that the team could build the structure using 3D technology meant design elements could be tested and trialed without losing time or momentum
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The fact that the team could build the structure using 3D technology meant design elements could be tested and trialed without losing time or momentum
AMIE illustrates what our future might look like if we shared our energy streams for buildings and transportation, using additive manufacturing as a tool to drive rapid innovation
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AMIE illustrates what our future might look like if we shared our energy streams for buildings and transportation, using additive manufacturing as a tool to drive rapid innovation
The 3D-printed utility vehicle is currently configured with a 14 kWh battery
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The 3D-printed utility vehicle is currently configured with a 14 kWh battery
In one-direction, AMIE can charge the car battery and in the other direction, the car can power AMIE
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In one-direction, AMIE can charge the car battery and in the other direction, the car can power AMIE
Advanced building control and power management strategies are used to integrate the various energy systems
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Advanced building control and power management strategies are used to integrate the various energy systems
Total vehicle weight is approximately 4,010 lb
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Total vehicle weight is approximately 4,010 lb
The AMIE building is made with energy efficient modified atmosphere insulation (MAI) panels
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The AMIE building is made with energy efficient modified atmosphere insulation (MAI) panels
Inside the AMIE structure
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Inside the AMIE structure
Dubbed AMIE (Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy), the innovative platform features special technology that allows a bi-directional flow of energy between a dwelling and a vehicle
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Dubbed AMIE (Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy), the innovative platform features special technology that allows a bi-directional flow of energy between a dwelling and a vehicle

A research team from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ONRL) has created a new model for how we can connect the way we power our homes and vehicles. Dubbed AMIE (Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy), the platform features special technology that allows a bi-directional flow of energy between a dwelling and a vehicle. In other words, the house can fuel the car and the car can fuel the house. What's more, ORNL used 3D printing technology to build the dwelling and the vehicle, before successfully trialing the new energy system.

"Inthe AMIE demonstration project, we are trying to illustrate what ourfuture might look like if we shared our energy streams for buildingsand transportation, using additive manufacturing as a tool to driverapid innovation," ORNL’s Roderick Jackson, who led the AMIEdemonstration project, told Gizmag. "The challenges we facecan’t wait for the innovation cycles that currently exist for ourbuildings and vehicles energy ecosystem. These challenges includeelectricity outages caused by extreme weather events, energy povertyaround the globe, and intermittent renewable generation."

AMIEboasts the world's very first working level 2 (6.6 kW) bi-directionalpower system. The building is fitted with a flexible 3.2 kW solarphotovoltaic system, which is then paired with electric vehiclebatteries, providing renewable power generation and storage. Energycan flow in either direction between the house and the vehicle via awireless transfer system. This also means the vehicle can power the house when the sun has gone down or during cloudy periods.

"Inone-direction, AMIE can charge the car battery and in the otherdirection, the car can power AMIE," said Jackson. "Theefficiency of the bidirectional wireless power transfer (BWPT) systemis roughly around 85 percent. BWPT uses a resonant technology that allowshigher efficiencies through larger gaps."

ORNLworked alongside architectural studio Skidmore, Owings & Merrillto construct the 210 sq ft (19.5 sq m) building. The single-room structure wasbuilt using 3D-printed parts and features curved lines and costeffective vacuum insulated panels. The home is equipped with a micro-kitchen concept, developed by GE FirstBuild, and the rooftopphotovoltaic system is paired with batteries from a previouslyused Fiat 500e.

"One of the interesting energy saving features is novel modified atmosphere insulation (MAI) panels developed by NanoPore that are about seven times more energy efficient than traditional wall insulation," revealed Jackson.

Energy can flow in either direction between the house and the vehicle via a wireless transfer system with 85 percent efficiency
Energy can flow in either direction between the house and the vehicle via a wireless transfer system with 85 percent efficiency

Carbonfiber-reinforced ABS plastic composite material was used to printapproximately 80 percent of the house components and 30 percent of the vehicle's.The fact that the team could build the structure using 3D technologymeant design elements could be tested and trialed without losing timeor momentum. It also meant they could create curved shapes andperfectly fitting bespoke elements without the limitations oftraditional building techniques.

"Ourability to test design form and fit at scale and in real time enabledan 'innovation on the fly' process that could revolutionize how weapproach building construction and design," ORNL's Director ofEnergy and Transportation Science Division, Johney Green Jr, told Gizmag.

The3D-printed utility vehicle features an electric hybrid power-train, which makes use of natural gas to extend its range. Thanks to creating the vehiclewith 3D-printed components, theappearance of the vehicle can be modified with new body parts as desired.

Thanks to creating the vehicle with 3D-printed components, it's reported quite easy to change the appearance of the vehicle with new body parts
Thanks to creating the vehicle with 3D-printed components, it's reported quite easy to change the appearance of the vehicle with new body parts

Althoughthe weight of the vehicle is currently close to 4,010 lb (1,819 kg), additionalresearch will go into developing a lightweight version. ORNL is alsohoping to trial external combustion engines such as the Stirlingengine; high efficiency internal combustion engines with bio-fuels,hydrogen fuel cells and advanced energy storage units, such as flowbatteries and consumable batteries.

"Theenergy generator used in the current configuration is a very smallinternal combustion engine natural gas generator," said Green."This small 5.5 kW engine/generator is an example of the extremedownsizing possible with range extended electric vehicleconfigurations. In addition to range extension for the printedutility vehicle, the engine/generator is ideally sized for providingpower to small buildings such as the printed AMIE house."

It should also be noted that the current prototype was not designed aroundoptimum speed or performance, but more to demonstrate the capabilitiesof AMIE.

    "Theprinted utility vehicle is currently configured with a 14 kWh battery, which with the current weight allows an all-electric rangeof 35 miles for city driving and a top speed suited for highway use(~60 mph)," continued Green. "We could configure the vehicle tohave different performance characteristics. The range of thevehicle depends upon how much fuel is carried on board and thespeed of the vehicle depends upon the power-train configuration."
    ORNL is currently considering the option of making the plans open sourceand there is already talk of an AMIE 2.0, incorporating improvements andlessons learnt from AMIE 1.0.

    "Wehave not finalized any plans to put the design files in the publicdomain, but that is something worth considering," said Jackson."We hope that this project inspires others to ask 'what if' and use technology to drive innovation."

    Thevideo below illustrates the ideas and technology behind ORNL's AMIEdemonstration.

    Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy Demonstration

    6 comments
    olavn
    To use wireless energy transfer for kilowatts, sending 15% of it out as electromagnetic pollution, should be prohibited as environmentally criminal.
    Tom Lee Mullins
    I think that is both cool and green.
    wle
    why does everything have to be ''printed'' now? what does ''printing'' add other than the ability to dress the car up and i guess make fancy doorknobs in the house? is it cheaper? is it stronger? is it lighter? is it anything? wle
    Jay Lloyd
    WLE, "why does everything have to be 'printed' now?" Not everything HAS to be printed, but it is a way to make what used to be unfeasible to produce without a great deal of money and industry, very feasible for one-offs. "what does 'printing' add other than the ability to dress the car up and i guess make fancy doorknobs in the house?" It means instead of relying on creating an industry to make the house or cars, all you need is a small set of tools and the printing machine, turning what could be a $5 mil project into possibly a $500 k project. Or on the consumer scale, unfeasible to feasible. In our future space-faring society, it could mean that you bring a printer and small set of tools to take advantage of materials on a planet to "print" your homes and vehicles on-site, using what is available on the planet, thereby minimizing what you have to bring with you, thereby saving money. "is it cheaper?" For a smaller number of pieces, or one-offs, almost always. For space travel, always. "is it stronger?" Than what material? The article said that 80% of the home parts are made of carbon-fiber-reinforced ABS plastic. So that could be comparable to metal, and many times stronger and lighter than wood. "is it lighter?" See above comment. "is it anything?" Yes! lol
    Martin Hone
    How about making the house portable, as in , a caravan. Then you can tow it around on holiday, using solar to provide energy and have fun as well.
    Stephen N Russell
    Ideal for a contest prize, sweepstakes alone to PR idea. Love it Now to program 3D printer to produce YOUR dream car & your In & to modify your home too., Raddical Now lisc this process & upscale.