Last month, the TTU Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Spring 2021 Series began with Dr. Jennifer Loy: 3D Printing Product Development Decisions with Dr. Jennifer Loy. Dr. Loy opened with the unique capabilities of additive manufacturing (AM), then shared examples and tips on “how manufacturers could approach integrating the technology into their business from a product design point of view.”
In January 2016, Dr Pradel joined the Design for Digital Fabrication Research Group (D4DF) at the Loughborough Design School as a research associate and is currently working on an EPSRC funded Network project on Design for Additive Manufacturing (Design for AM-Net – Additive Manufacturing Network). The DfAM Network is a collaborative effort between Loughborough University and Lancaster University to connect the UK DfAM community. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences.
Thanks to Patrick’s overall research in design and AM, across nearly two decades of product design and manufacturing, he will be sharing current trends and opportunities for students and faculty interested in the field. Read Dr. Pradel’s full bio on LinkedIn and his Loughborough University profile page.
The groundswell of support from maker communities around the USA and the world to 3D print face shields, or sew DIY cloth face masks, is making a difference for healthcare workers on the front lines battling COVID-19. Much of that work started in Washington State and the Northwest. At Edmonds College, a small team began working on its own version of a sustainable, durable face shield.
Thanks to the encouragement and support of Edmonds College President, Dr. Amit B. Singh, the college makerspace leaders at The Facility began work immediately on a sustainable personal protective equipment (PPE) design to test with area healthcare professionals.
Dubbed “ED19,” the face shield under development at Edmonds College is currently undergoing informal field tests at Skagit Valley Hospital, Mt Vernon, and St Joseph Medical Center, Bellingham. The ED19 is targeted at frontline healthcare workers: Emergency Medical Technicians, Nurses, and Doctors.
“First, while it is really cool that people are 3d printing PPE (for the record I’m a BIG fan of distributed production) it still takes a very long time to print a single part. By sourcing replacement headgear for welding helmets we can offer a solution that is more durable, more adjustable, and more comfortable at a very competitive price,” said David Voetmann, The Facility program manager.
Using mostly off-the-shelf products and components, gives Voetmann and his team a chance to test and modify rapidly. Even more importantly, perhaps, is his second purpose: “the real point is exploring a transition away from our current disposable mentality.” His goal is to make this face shield, or any PPE, as reusable as possible. Some of it has to be disposable, of course, for a myriad of safety reasons, but as a culture we could shift to products that are cleaned and used more than once, when possible.
Voetmann is clear that he is not suggesting that current 3D printing efforts are unnecessary, far from it, he applauds and supports their efforts. He wants to look beyond the current crisis to how we might reduce future pandemic impact as well as find a more sustainable, earth-friendly method for healthcare use for years to come. This product could reduce the consumption rate of PPE.
As makers and students and staff have taken on tasks to help 3D print or sew or model various possible PPE solutions, the foundation for student learning is built into the program at Edmonds College — one that The National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU) and the TEAMM project have helped bring to reality thanks to National Science Foundation grant funds. In part, Monroe Hall is filled with materials science equipment and advanced manufacturing machines due to NSF grants and teamwork, for student use in the Engineering Technology Lab, as well as for the community via The Facility Maker Space.
As the COVID19 pandemic shows signs of slowing, it is far from over and the work aimed at sustainable solutions as well as the short-term PPE needs that can be solved with 3D printing will continue. It is up to us to continue encouraging and helping students and volunteers around the country as they find and build solutions.
Note: We highlight and applaud the efforts of many educational institutions working to put PPE into the hands of healthcare workers. Here are a few highlights in the recent AM News post: Editor’s Corner: 3D Printers Rally To Help Stem COVID-19: Your Help Is Needed. Tennessee Tech and University of Louisville are mentioned. We are doing an update that includes other college initiatives.
Wohlers Associates and America Makes are partnering to offer a one-day design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) course for managers and executives. Following the success of previous DfAM courses conducted for engineers and designers on four continents, this course is the company’s first foray into educating management on wide ranging issues associated with DfAM.
The course is open to the public, with members of America Makes enjoying discounted pricing.
“AM is an inherently multidisciplinary technology,” said Ray Huff, associate engineer and DfAM instructor at Wohlers Associates. “Just as product development teams must rethink the way a product is designed, company management must also gain an appreciation for the new methods, software tools, and considerations that AM presents. Unlocking the vast potential of AM requires a broad understanding of both the opportunities and challenges.”
According to Wohlers Report 2019, the largest application of AM in 2018 is the production of end-use parts, as shown in the following chart. Jigs, fixtures, and other forms of tooling—a combined 18.5%—represent an important range of applications that can save companies a tremendous amount of time and money. End-use parts and tooling rely heavily on designing in a way that optimizes for the AM process. Managers and executives considering the adoption of AM for production applications will gain an advantage over others if they attend this course.
Course presentations, discussions, and hands-on exercises cover the economics of AM, consolidating many parts into one, and topology optimization, which is letting mathematics decide where to place material to optimize the strength-to-weight ratio. The course also covers lattice/mesh structures, the importance of DfAM rules and guidelines, and distortion modeling and simulation. The course includes considerations for metal, polymer, and composite materials, the creation of custom products, and reducing the need for expensive support material. Those attending the course will receive Wohlers Report 2019 at no additional cost. Details on the course are available at this web page.
The Guitar Building Institute, also known as the STEM Guitar project, is regularly mentioned here on AM News because they continue to move STEM forward in exciting ways. Sinclair Community College Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology, Tom Singer, and his team are busy around the USA teaching educators about using guitar building to teach STEM to middle and high school students.
The STEM Guitar project was first awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in 2008 and its first classes started in 2009. As they celebrate their first full decade in operation, more than 800 STEM educators have participated in the five day workshops held all around the USA.
According to a recent post in the SME “Humans of Manufacturing” series, in which Tom Singer was profiled, “Students across the country have designed and manufactured 10,000 guitars. STEM teachers from 40 states have either gone through a Guitar Building Institute course or have purchased guitar kits. At Sinclair, the college produces about 1,200 guitar kits a year, making it a mid-tier guitar manufacturer within the industry.”
As an active partner of the TEAMM coordination network, whose mission is to bring together a wide variety of public and private sector stakeholders (for technician education) and improve access to professional development, the STEM Guitar project aligns with and helps TEAMM to fulfill its mission. STEM Guitar, with its team of 22 faculty around the U.S., coordinates faculty training and other non-profit skill building events related to STEM, Guitars, and materials.
While it is recommended and worthwhile to attend the official STEM Guitar workshop, (the staff here at AM News has participated in and documented several of the workshops), the project website at GuitarBuilding.org is loaded with information for educators and individuals, including the complete curriculum. Joining the live workshop gives participants an opportunity to build their own guitar and learn first-hand what is needed to replicate these lessons in the classroom (hint: you need a workshop, benches, tools). The curriculum and project based learning aligns with industry soft and hard skill sets and is crosswalked to K-12 standards
If you click through to the Video area of the site, you will find details on one of the techniques that the STEM Guitar team has perfected: How To Swirl Dip Your Guitar. The “Swirl dipping guitars from down under” link leads you to a YouTube video that gives you a unique view of the process — in the barrel of water looking up into the paint. Plus, you can see some of the amazing guitar finishing (lots of Swirl Paint jobs) results from photographer James Huntington Schuelke’s Flickr profile.
TEAMM is always excited to see the progress and success of its members, but it is tough for any organization to match the energy and enthusiasm found in training other educators and middle/high school students. If you need to spark excitement for STEM learning, head over to Tom Singer and his team at STEM Guitar for ideas and inspiration.
On day one of the 2018 Virtual Reality (VR) Workshop held in Monroe Hall at Edmonds Community College, it was all “real” and “virtual” at the same time. Educators, 14 of them in total, came from as far away as Southern California to learn how to use VR in their classrooms to teach digital manufacturing.
The workshop is the brainchild of Dr. Magesh Chandramouli who started the MANEUVER (Manufacturing Education Using Virtual Environment Resources) project, based at Purdue University. It is focused on developing an affordable VR framework to address the demand for well-trained digital manufacturing (DM) technicians.
The two-day workshop was hosted by the TEAMM project and started out with sessions dedicated to manufacturing and a tour of Monroe Hall (which has served as the home to multiple National Science Foundation grant-funded projects including the National Resource Center for Materials Education – MatEdU).
This amazing building is the11,000 square foot home for almost $2,000,000 of machines and tools offering a variety you won’t find on very many college campuses. It is also where The Facility, a new type of makerspace exists – that fuses college access and community access.
Here’s more of what took place on day one and day two of the VR Workshop:
Demos of Traditional and Digital Technologies
Introduction to Virtual Reality
Types and Uses (Google Cardboard Build)
Current technology and expected development (HoloLens practice)
Unpack and set-up VR equipment (using the Dell Visor)
MANEUVER website (We are creating a resource post that we believe you will find useful, stay tuned)
Design Opportunities in Virtual Reality
Case Studies: VR in a Classroom
How is it being used
What are the challenges / rewards
On day two, participants focused on a group project planning incorporation of VR into an actual lesson.
Here are photos from the event:
From their website: “Project MANEUVER (Manufacturing Education Using Virtual Environment Resources) is developing an affordable virtual reality (VR) framework to address the imminent demand for well-trained digital manufacturing (DM) technicians. Over half of the 3.5 million required manufacturing positions in the US are expected to go unfilled due to a “skills gap”. Employment projections show a decline in conventional manufacturing jobs with marked growth in DM jobs.
“This VR instructional framework, targeted at two and four year programs, will not only advance the field of DM, but will also strengthen education by remedying the lack of clearly defined career/educational pathway(s) for entry-level DM technicians.”