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- My name is Aubrey Woern
- I am a 4th year Mechanical Engineering student at Michigan Technological University. I am the current president of the Open Source Hardware Enterprise. I am also on the Extruder (Recyclebot v5) build team and in charge of the internal 3D print service.
Semester 1 Spring 2016
Ford College Community Challenge Project: This semester I have been working with Joseph McCaslin on the Filament Extruder for the Ford College Community Challenge Project. To date we have constructed 1 of the 3 total extruders and have begun testing with PLA plastic. We started off with a design from the Michigan Tech Open Source Technology lab run by Dr. Joshua Pearce called the Recyclebot V4.0ac. So far we have changed the nozzle from 1.6 mm to 2.00 mm to make it easier to get a consistent 1.75 mm diameter. We are also using a new hopper design to reduce areas where pellets could potentially get stuck. Future improvements include new downfield equipment such as a different puller and spooler. We also want to use band heaters instead of the NiChrome wire for the ease of installation. Next semester we will continue this project with the hope to extrude recycled PET and failed prints.
Semester 2 Fall 2016
RecycleBot V5: This semester I led the enterprise team as well as helped on the Extruder Design Team, an outline of the project can be found here: Recyclebot_v5.1.
Future Work: Next semester I hope to start a new project involving dynamic zoom glasses for the visually impaired as well as make the Recyclebot V5 more refined and optimize manufacturability, while keeping cost very low. Our goal is to have a very refined version by the summer so we can mass produce these extruders and start researching many different types of filaments and additives. I will continue the 3D Print service and hope to optimize that process as well. Finally, my last goal is to create more effective marketing tools to bring in students to our enterprise team.
Semester 3 Spring 2017
RecycleBot V5: This semester I continued the design of the Recyclebot_v5.1 making strides with the mechanical design of each of the subsystems. Joe McCaslin finalized the control system using an Arduino and RAMPS board to make assembly easier as well as using similar parts to a 3D Printer to continue the REPRAP project. The next step for this project is to optimize the 3D Printed parts to reduce plastic use and print time. After that we will figure out how to add a water bath to the assembly to allow for PET extrusion. Once that is complete, we will start producing many units to distribute to students who can create their own brands of filament using any type of industrial waste. Continuing this project might also involve creating a larger scale version for making filament faster and potentially more consistent, still keeping costs to a minimum, and factors of 10 cheaper than the machines out in industry.
Husky Statue: Working again with Joe McCaslin to facilitate an internal revenue stream to fund Enterprise projects, we decided on 3D Printing a scan of the Husky Statue on campus. We worked with several people at Michigan Tech to figure out an avenue to "sell" them to career services, who would then distribute them to MTU Alumni.
3D Printing Service: To gain some more funds for the Enterprise, we continued our 3D Printing service, where we helped senior design teams, enterprise teams and even some faculty members.
Semester 4 Fall 2017
Recyclebot V5: This semester, the team and I finished the design of the Recyclebot. I created the instruction manual for how to build and operate the machine. I am also working on a vertical extrusion prototype that will keep the haul-off equipment horizontal on the board, but will make the extruder assembly vertical to increase flow pressure at the nozzle and to improve pellet feeding. I also helped Adam Pringle with his wood filament project by creating and fixing any hardware he needed for making filament.
3D Printing Service: I continued with the 3D print service this semester, making several objects for senior design and enterprise teams. I also modelled the Portage Lake Lift Bridge and Quincy Mine for future bulk print requests through Career Services.
Team MISC: At the beginning of the semester, I planned and attended several marketing events with the team. This increased the popularity of the team, as well as brought attention to our 3D print service. I worked with Zack Fredin and Joe Thompson at the beginning of the semester to work out details for the GM automation project where we decided to use a robotic arm to operate our 3D printers autonomously. I also occasionally give tours of the OSHE lab to prospective members and sponsors, which I find the most enjoyable part of the job.
Semester 5 Spring 2018
Recyclebot V5: This semester, I sent in the paper for the Recyclebot, it is currently in the revision stages but should be published soon. I worked on improving the traverse mechanism some more, and I am currently messing with different nozzle designs to reduce the amount of unmelted pellets making their way into the extruded filament, I am basically adding a melt filter in the form of a steel mesh to block any unmelted pellets until they are liquid enough to be pushed through. The next step for this project is to design and build a pelletizer that can turn the extruded filament back into pellets for either better composite mixture, or better hopper feeding for the recycled materials that normally come from the granulator as flakes or shards. Finally, I am starting to design a "portable" Recyclebot for Adam Pringle to bring abroad. It will be able to fold in half and easily bolt together and take apart to fit in a large suitcase.
3D Printing Service: I kept up with the internal 3D print service this semester. I continued to make objects for senior design and enterprise teams. I modelled up some husky-themed bottle openers and coasters for potential bulk orders in the future.
Team MISC: This spring semester we moved into a new lab, which we are still working to organize. Over the summer, I plan to have everything in an optimized location like how our old lab was. The last part of the semester was busy as usual to plan and prepare for design expo. I created both the powerpoint and the poster, which were both presented very well at expo. We didn't win anything, but our booth was definitely the best there.
My interests include: 3D Printing, Sustainability, Electric Vehicles, Aerial Photography, Alternative Energy
I have been running the Open Source Hardware Enterprise for almost two years now. Last summer I did research with Dr. Joshua Pearce where we did a study on the economics of 3D printing Ninjaflex. We discovered 20 flexible objects that could be printed cheaper with Ninjaflex than buying it from a store. I also helped start a company called Makerhub that connects people with 3D Printers with companies that need bulk items printed quickly. The summer after my first year I had an internship at The Viking Corporation that involved design and fabrication of Fire Protection Sprinklers.