Advanced Manufacturing is the use of innovative technologies to create new or existing products. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s advanced manufacturing portfolio can be organized into four main groups: Additive Manufacturing is the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. Precision Engineering is the design and fabrication of machines, fixtures, and other structure that have exceptionally low tolerances, are repeatable, and are stable over time. Manufacturing Simulation & Automation comprises technologies that reduce human intervention in manufacturing processes, as well as a set of tools that allows for experimentation and validation of product, process, and system designs & configurations. Manufacturing Improvements are inventions that improve throughput/efficiency, or that reduce cost/waste.

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LLNL and Ampcera Partnership Using 3D printing for Next Generation Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is partnering with Ampcera Inc. to develop solvent-free Laser Powder Bed Fusion additive manufacturing technologies for the fabrication of 3D-structured lithium battery cathodes, that could result in faster charging and higher-energy-density batteries.

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Innovation and Partnerships Office employees capture two national awards

The Department of Energy’s Technology Transfer Working Group recently awarded two Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) employees with “Best in Class” awards during their May spring meeting in Washington, D.C.

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NASA funds LLNL to demonstrate 'replicator' 3D printer to produce cartilage in space

NASA's funding will enable LLNL and Kentucky-based space life sciences company, Space Tango to mature prototypes of the “replicator” technology — a ultrafast 3D printer co-developed by LLNL and the University of California, Berkeley — for bioprinting in microgravity on the International Space Station.

Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

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LLNL is seeking industry partners to collaborate on quantum science and technology research and development in the following areas: quantum-coherent device physics, quantum materials, quantum–classical interfaces, computing and simulation, and sensing and detection.

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Versatile Cold Spray (VCS) enables deposition of brittle materials, such as thermoelectrics, magnets, and insulators, while retaining their functional properties. Materials can be deposited on substrates or arbitrary shapes with no requirement to match compositions. The VCS system is low cost, easily portable, and easy to use. VCS has been developed in a collaboration between Lawrence Livermore…
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In order to identify new, unknown proteins associated with viruses, such as COVID-19, it is easiest to start by identifying structurally related proteins. LLNL scientists have created tools that identify structurally related proteins and their relevant residues, called cSpan. The cSpan (sequence conservation in structurally conserved “span” regions) calculation is a quantitative measure of…

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Understanding proteins, their structures, and how they may be similar is necessary for many applications from basic science to developing vaccines for COVID-19. Most computational models that predict protein structure similarity consider certain features at the expense of others. To get a holistic picture of protein structures, LLNL scientists developed the Local-Global Alignment (LGA) model.…

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Automating protein classification via structural similarity has been a technique employeed by researchers for a while. The current methods generally only assess structure similarity using a single metric (e.g., Z-score) and only evaluate similar conformations of secondary structure elements. In order to accurately access structure similarity, LLNL scientists created a method called STRucture…

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Understanding how proteins interact with membrane surfaces is important for drug discovery studies in which a drug may target a membrane protein. One of the main proteins of interest for COVID-19 antibodies is the ACE2 protein that binds to the neutral amino acid transporter B0AT1. B0AT1 sits in the membrane and understanding how movement or perturbation of that membrane might after the…

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Communicating complex scientific information is a critical activity in responding to today’s COVID-19 pandemic. Many sources exist now to present trustworthy and timely information in ways that decisionmakers and the general public can understand. One way to communicate scientific information is to show the technical data in visual forms that users can easily relate to and interact with. LLNL’…

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One of the biggest challenges in many fields of studies, such as COVID-19, is to analyze a complex mix of experimental and simulation data, which relies primarily on the intuition of trained experts. Many advanced analysis techniques are often difficult to integrate, leading to a confusing patchwork of analysis snippets too cumbersome for data exploration. To simplify data analysis, LLNL…

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Computed tomography (CT) is one of the most common imaging modalities used in industrial, healthcare, and security settings. During a CT scan, a narrow beam of x-rays is used to produce signals that are processed by a computer to generate cross-sectional images of a part of the human body, such as the lungs of a suspected COVID-19 patient or a patient in recovery needing long-term…

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Cardiotoxicity is one of the major toxicity concerns when developing new drugs. However, these cardiotoxicity tests aren’t done until a drug has gone through years of development. LLNL scientists have developed a software suite called Cardioid that simulates the electrical current running through the heart tissue, triggering cells to contract like cascading dominoes and causing the heart to…

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Livermore researchers have developed a method for implementing closed-loop control in extrusion printing processes by means of novel sensing, machine learning, and optimal control algorithms for the optimization of printing parameters and controllability. The system includes a suite of sensors, including cameras, voltage and current meters, scales, etc., that provide in-situ process monitoring…
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LLNL pioneered the use of tomographic reconstruction to determine the power density of electron beams using profiles of the beam taken at a number of angles. LLNL’s earlier diagnostic consisted of a fixed number of radially oriented sensor slits and required the beam to be circled over them at a fixed known diameter to collect data. The new sensor design incorporates annular slits instead,…

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LLNL researchers have designed and tested performance characteristics for a multichannel pyrometer that works in the NIR from 1200 to 2000 nm. A single datapoint without averaging can be acquired in 14 microseconds (sampling rate of 70,000/s). In conjunction with a diamond anvil cell, the system still works down to about 830K.

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LLNL has developed a system and method that accomplishes volumetric fabrication by applying computed tomography (CT) techniques in reverse, fabricating structures by exposing a photopolymer resin volume from multiple angles, updating the light field at each angle. The necessary light fields are spatially and/or temporally multiplexed, such that their summed energy dose in a target resin volume…

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Livermore researchers have developed a method of fabricating functional polymer-based particles by crosslinking UV-curable polymer drops in mid-air and collecting crosslinked particles in a solid container, a liquid suspension, or an air flow. Particles could contain different phases in the form or layered structures that contain one to multiple cores, or structures that are blended with…
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LLNL has solved the challenges of depth-resolved parallel TPL by using a temporal focusing technique in addition to the spatial focusing technique used in serial writing systems. We temporally focus the beam (through optical set-up design) so that a sharp Z-plane can be resolved while projecting 2D “light sheets” that cause localized photo-polymerization. This enables printing of complex 3D…

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The LLNL method for optimizing as built optical designs uses insights from perturbed optical system theory and reformulates perturbation of optical performance in terms of double Zernikes, which can be calculated analytically rather than by tracing thousands of rays. A new theory of compensation is enabled by the use of double Zernikes which allows the performance degradation of a perturbed…

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LLNL has developed an optically clear iodine-doped resist that increases the mean atomic number of the part. AM parts fabricated with this resist appear radio-opaque due to an increase in the X-ray attenuation by a factor of 10 to 20 times. Optical clarity is required so that the photons can penetrate the liquid to initiate polymerization and radio opacity is required to enable 3D computed…

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By combining 3D printing and dealloying., researchers at LLNL have developed a method for fabricating metal foams with engineered hierarchical architectures consisting of pores at least 3 distinct length scales. LLNL’s method uses direct ink writing (DIW), a 3D printing technique for additive manufacturing to fabricate hierarchical nanoporous metal foams with deterministically controlled 3D…

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LLNL researchers have developed a system that relies on machine learning to monitor microfluidic devices. The system includes (at least) a microfluidic device, sensor(s), and a local network computer. The system could also include a camera that takes real-time images of channel(s) within an operating microfluidic device. A subset of these images can be used to train/teach a machine learning…
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This technology uses AM printing methods applied to explosives materials. But unlike producing explosives parts, the explosive component is added at a low concentration of around 4 to 6 wt. %. This allows for the final form, to be labeled as a non-hazardous material. A suitable matrix (substrate) is selected that ultimately will be non-volatile (reducing improper training on contaminants) and…
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LLNL scientists have developed a new metal additive manufacturing technique that uses diode lasers in conjunction with a programmable mask to generate 2D patterns of energy at the powder surface. The method can produce entire layers in a single laser shot, rather than producing layers spot by spot as is currently done in powder bed fusion methods.

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Livermore materials scientists and engineers are designing and building new materials that will open up new spaces on many Ashby material selection charts, such as those for stiffness and density as well as thermal expansion and stiffness. This is being accomplished with unique design algorithms and research into the additive manufacturing techniques of projection microstereolithography, direct…