DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently investigated advanced manufacturing processes and materials to enable novel wind turbine blade designs that both decrease costs and increase efficiency. Reports published detailed the research on using large-scale three-dimensional (3D) printing technologies to produce wind turbine blade structures, evaluated 3D printing systems and design processes, and examined alternative raw materials needed for structural, cost, and manufacturing time requirements for wind turbine blades.

The collaborative research seeks to reduce blade mass by 3D-printing the internal core structures of the blades, as well as identify the research pathways required for wind industry adoption.