Engineering : Additive manufacturing

Engineering Portfolios


3-D Printer for High Quality, Large-Scale Metal Parts

UW–Madison researchers have developed a linear multisource 3-D printer capable of producing large, fully dense metal parts with micron resolution.

The highly practical design employs a mechanically scanned cathode comb, large metal powder bed and vacuum. The design ensures a tightly controlled focal spot size, minimizes the number of beam sources, produces large parts at full density and requires little or no post processing because of the high resolution print head.

Radial 3-D Printer for Improved Prototyping Efficiency

UW–Madison researchers have developed a non-Cartesian mechanism for 3-D printing. The mechanism comprises a tool movement assembly with an arm extending radially from a first axis to a printhead location; an actuator system that independently controls the rotation, translation and revolution according to control signals; and a printhead attached to the arm at the printhead location that receives control signals to direct a printed volume of material toward the printing surface. The 3-D printing mechanism may further include a system for translating conventional CAD files into the coordinate structure of the present invention.

Method of Orientating Fillers in Polymer Composite Materials

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for fabricating polymer composites incorporating fillers with multi-directional orientations that allow for the fillers to be orientated in a direction or concentration suitable for a particular composite requirement. After depositing fillers in a matrix material, fillers are aligned by exposing specific portions of the matrix material to an electric field. This alignment creates a pseudo-fiber representative of chains of the filler particles, which is oriented parallel to the electric field direction. The filler particles then are locked into position by hardening of the polymer matrix through UV curing or other means. The process is repeated with pseudo-fiber alignment in desired directions for multiple layers, which are bonded together naturally through the hardening process. This process may be used to create laminated composites with multi-directional filler orientations with natural or synthetic fillers in a variety of shapes. This process also can be easily incorporated with existing rapid prototyping machines and processes to produce parts with significantly improved performance due to the added capability of manipulating the filler orientation and distribution within the matrix material.