- I am a Mechanical engineer at Tech.
- I am minoring in Electrical engineering and will graduate in spring of 2019.
- I enjoy designing and creating
- I love to find new ways to do things better
- I built my first 3D printer at the end of 2016 (reprap Prusa i3)
- I now have 3 semester of enterprise experience
- I have finished a Core XY printer that I designed from scratch
- I have built a DIY CNC machine utilizing plans for the MPCNC on thingiverse.
- Granulator MKll
The Granulator MKll was a continuation from what Peter Gorecki and Walker Nelson had designed. This semesters task was to build the design model. We have not completed the granulator as of now due to unforeseen obstacles such as having to work around machine shop hours and having to wait for parts. Due to manufactures not replying for request for quotes for the granulation blades we had to make our own blades. All the parts besides the blades that required machining were done using drill press, corded drill, and an angle grinder. So far one of the issues that we have found with the initial design is with the granulation screen. Because when we cut the pipe in half there was tension in the pipe which changed the dimensions. The granulator is close to being fully assembled. I also designed a jig to help create the granulation screen holes, which are required to be at an angle to a curved surface.
- Small scale manufacturing
I assisted in the production of our Husky order
- Gm automation project
This semester I was team lead for the GM sponsored automation project. The goal of this project is to totally automate the 3D printing process. To do this we are using an Open source robotic arm called "Dexter" developed by Haddington Dynamics. We received the arm as a kit and worked through the assembly for the first half of the semester. The instructions provided were lacking critical details and often asked that you assemble something after it had already been epoxied in place. This is where the arm assemble stopped because our electronics kit had not arrived yet. After communication with Haddington and keeping up with their kick starter page the kit was allegedly send out near the end of October. Unfortunately our electronics did not ship until much later and as of last week we finally had the electronics in the lab. Upon furter inspection the electronics kit was lacking the optical encoders which are vital to the build. We will be emailing Haddington again and requesting the missing parts as well as instructions for wiring since we can't seem to find any online. Another aspect of the project this semester was to build a cage to house the automation system. The purpose of the cage is for protection and for display purposes as soon as the arm works. I designed the cage in CAD and ordered the parts from McMaster Carr. About a week later Zach and I assembled the cage and ordered a few remaining parts to finish the assembly. So, the current state of the project is as follows: The cage is complete and ready for the system to be implemented, the electronics are incomplete and there are no instructions to wire the board, there are some remaining parts to implement into the cage such as: (the display screen, video camera, and lights), and there has been little work done to start programming the arm since it cannot even move yet. Next semester (spring 2018) we hope to finish any of the electronics that will be interfaced with by the operator, to finish the wiring and coding of the arm, and by design expo we are aiming to have a working demo of the system.
- Gm automation project
This semester we continued forward with the automation project. After receiving all electronics we had 3-4 Zoom conference calls with Haddington in order to get assistance with the finishing touches on the arm. With the assistance from the team we were finally able to get the arm moving. This required that we use our own router so that Dexter is not lost in the Michigan Tech network. I redesigned the servo mount from the Mantis gripper found on Thiniverse so that it would be compatible with Dexter (link here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2877079). Other parts I designed to hold down everything down in the safety caage were: Printer mounts, camera mount, Dexter holdowns, wire loops, wire anchors, fan mounts and a purge bucket. The fan mounts held computer cooling fans that were used to thermally shock the bed and release the PEI sheet from the PLA parts. The purge bucket was implemented so that the prime move didn't leave a line on the front of the bed which would have caused us to have to physically remove it before every print. Both the purge bucket and cooling system used custom gcode in order to make these methods simple and easy to use on any printer. Though the last week was a crunch and took many man hours the team was able to complete the demo and have it on display running at the MTU design expo. The project will continue in the Fall where we will add complexity such as post processing, filament changing, fail detection and eventually expand this system to work on many printers in a farm setting.
- High Temperature 3D printer
This semester I worked with Aubrey Worren to design a 3D printing platform that is optimized for high temperature environments. The goal of this project is to create an affordable solution for being able to print thermoplastics requiring a heated chamber and having a much higher melting point that traditional thermoplastics such as PLA. Being able to print with thermoplastics requiring a heated chamber has many benefits; a few of these benefits are that parts printed will have a much higher temperature resistance than traditional plastics, higher temperature thermoplastics tend to have a much better mechanical properties making it possible for parts made to be end of use rather than just prototypes, and some plastics will even be safe for autoclaves making it possible to create parts for medical uses. This semester has been focused on the mechanical aspects of the printer namely designing the printer in CAD and assembling the printer. The mechanical aspects of the printer such as maximum deflection and natural frequencies have not been analyzed at this point due to setbacks in the design phase of this project. Next semester the main end goal will be to have a working high temperature 3D printer to show at expo as well as a complete analysis of the operation of the printer such as cost per part, cost of electricity, thermal characteristics, maximum deflection, dynamic analysis, ect. By the end of the project the designs will be released on thingiverse as well as instructions of operation and the firmware configurations.
- High Temperature 3D printer
This semester I worked with Aubrey Worren to design a 3D printing platform that is optimized for high temperature environments. The goal of this project is to create an affordable solution for being able to print thermoplastics requiring a heated chamber and having a much higher melting point that traditional thermoplastics such as PLA. Once the build was completed the printer went through a few iterations. First the original idea of designing a heating element with nichrome wire was dismissed due to the lack of heat resistant non-conductive material (research was done on this topic and it was found that mica would have been a suitable material for this application), so traditional heater pads were used to generate the heat for the printing chamber. The second design change was how the heating chamber would be built. Originally the chamber was going to cover most of the printer in order to keep the mass off of the printbed, after the build was complete it was clear that this would have caused problems with parts melting a motors overheating. We switched to placing the heated chamber just around the print surface to restrain the heat to one area. After first tests of bringing the chamber up to temperature some of the parts began to yield as they softened in the heat. These parts were mainly on the Z axis arm and were replaced with metal parts. Another design change was changing the motor couplers, the original flex couplers proved to create an unreasonable amount of backlash so they were replaced with non-flexible printed couplers. After those main build changes were completed the printer was ready to put to the test. A few different test parts were successfully printed in Ultem and PEKK, some of these parts were then annealed and put through tensile testing to show the mechanical properties of the printed parts. Results for the studies can be found in the main report. After all the testing was completed a report was written documenting the HT printer, this included: background, test prints, cost, build instructions, pictures of the completed printer, slicer settings, ect. This semester was a great learning experience into the design process and I hope that this project stays with the enterprise so that the design can be improved upon and the printer can be used to fabricate high strength printed parts for future projects.