Using Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing for Wind Turbine Blade Core Structures

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report describes the techno-economic potential of using additive manufacturing technologies to design large wind turbine blade structures. After considering all additive technologies, the authors identified large-scale, polymer-based, material extrusion as the three-dimensional (3D) printing technology best suited to meet modern wind turbine blade manufacturing costs, cycle times, and geometric scale. Due to the lower structural performance requirements and the opportunity to reduce resin uptake mass penalties within the blade, the core material within the sandwich composite sections of the wind turbine blade is established as a logical entry point into advanced wind turbine blade manufacturing.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages103
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-85673


  • 3D printed core materials
  • additive manufacturing
  • large-scale material extrusion
  • sandwich composites
  • wind turbine blade structures


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