ORNL Manufacturing Demonstration Facility - Driving a Manufacturing Innovation Ecosystem

Dr. Craig Blue
ORMD Facility

The Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), established in 2012, is the Department of Energy’s only designated user facility focused on performing early-stage research and development to improve the energy and material efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness of American manufacturers. Capability areas include polymers and composites, large-scale metals, metal powder systems, machining, metrology and characterization, as well as manufacturing analytics and simulation. The 110,000 sq. ft. facility includes approximately 100 advanced manufacturing systems supporting the production of energy efficient products with benefits extending across the nation’s economy.

The MDF has 4,500 to 6,500 visitors per year (33,400 visitors in total) representing industry, various government agencies, students, academics, and decision makers. The interaction introduces a large population to advanced manufacturing and creates a future vision for U.S. industry based on the problems and needs communicated by industry and government. More than 5,000 companies have visited the MDF since it became operational in 2012, with these engagements resulting in over 190 collaborative research projects. Universities are also deeply engaged in research activities at the MDF with over 50 collaborations in additive manufacturing, and more than 1,000 student internships in manufacturing with over 700 unique students in the MDF since 2012. The MDF model, science and technology break throughs as well quantitative impacts will be discussed.

Dr. Craig Blue
Advanced Manufacturing Program Manager
Energy Sciences & Technology Directorate
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Dr. Craig Blue

Dr. Craig Blue was awarded a PhD from University of Cincinnati in Materials Science and Engineering. He manages ORNL’s Advanced Manufacturing Program which capitalizes on ORNL’s world-class user facilities such as the Spallation Neutron Source, Center for Nanophase Materials Science, Building Technologies Research and Integration Center, Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF), Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF), and the National Transportation and Research Center. The Advanced Manufacturing Program played key roles in the initiation and support of both the MDF and CFTF

Craig's pioneering spirit brings a rich background as both a researcher and scientific leader driving a manufacturing vision for nearly two decades. He was the founding director of the MDF and the founding CEO of the Composites Institute, IACMI. Most recently he initiated a national machine tool program, America’s Cutting Edge (ACE), to drive the revitalization of the machine tool industry in the US. He has more than 25 years of experience in conducting research in materials and manufacturing technologies, has authored approximately 100 open literature publications, holds 23 U.S. patents, and has received numerous awards including 10 R&D 100 Awards. He has served by invitation on numerous scientific and technical review panels, committees, and convocations convened by the National Science Foundation, the Council on Competitiveness, Manufacturing USA, and National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. He is a Battelle Distinguished Inventor, Fellow of ASM International, Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and has held adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Tennessee, University of North Texas, and the Colorado School of Mines.

In his most recent role, Craig served as the Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, an Institute within the White House Manufacturing USA initiative comprising of a public-private partnership to increase domestic production capacity, grow manufacturing, and create jobs across the US composite industry with more than 150 members.