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Traditionally, fans coming to UT’s Orange and White Game show up hoping to see improvements, innovations, and power that they hadn’t seen before.


While the game itself is a chance to showcase the football team’s growth, this year’s contest will give fans a look at a well-oiled machine of a different kind—one with its own take on innovation and power.

The Shelby Cobra 3D printed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which served as a hallmark of American ingenuity during President Barack Obama’s East Tennessee visit in January, will be on display in the plaza near Gate 21. In the event of rain, the car will be moved inside Thompson-Boling Arena.

“From the start, our goal was to demonstrate the potential of large-scale additive manufacturing as an innovative and viable manufacturing technology,” said Lonnie Love, leader of ORNL’s Manufacturing Systems Research group. “Our ability to innovate quickly has radically changed. There’s a whole industry that could be built up around rapid innovation in transportation.”

The Shelby Cobra went from concept to reality in only six weeks, with barely twenty-four hours of print time needed, a marked improvement made possible by the recent advances in large-scale 3D printing.

ORNL and Cincinnati Incorporated partnered to come up with the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine, which increases the speed of production up to 1,000 times.

UT engineering students Alex Roschli and Andrew Messing helped with the printing itself through their internships at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility located at ORNL, while mechanical engineering professor Butch Irick oversaw the UT team and helped with the development of the car’s powertrain.

“The project allowed our students and faculty to showcase their ability to collaborate closely with the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL,” said Taylor Eighmy, vice chancellor for research and engagement. “Those innovations and our strong collaborations with Oak Ridge are critical reasons why we and the laboratory have been selected to be leaders at the national level on projects such as IACMI (the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.)”


Erin Chapin (865-974-2187,