Multi-Institutional Collaboration in Additive Manufacturing

Collaboration is a terrific way to learn and during the 2018 Fall semester, five students from two community colleges and one university worked together to share their design and additive manufacturing (AM) facilities and capabilities. Three students were from Tennessee Tech University, one from Sinclair Community College, and one from Somerset Community College.

NSF TTU Collaboration Bottle Opener Before After

The goal was to join forces to allow teams to leverage skills gained in different courses, improve design competencies, and have an opportunity to apply them in the lab. Before that, however, design files were evaluated and modifications suggested, when appropriate. One of the student teams studied technical drafting in one community college’s design course, while the other two institutions opened the doors of their AM labs so that students can take that design knowledge straight to a 3D printer.

Project Evaluation: Students’ Perspectives

When asked about the part of the project that they enjoyed the most, the students stated the following:

      • 3D printing in different machines and materials
      • I helped and recommended design changes to optimize the part, especially the bottle opener side. I recommended to reinforce the area with more stress concentration
      • The redevelopment of the opener was a great aspect because it showed me how a real product would work through the design process and how to change and fix problems
      • Testing to see what worked best
      • The design phase

The students indicated having learned invaluable lessons from the bottle cap opener project, to include the following:

      • Design is not about looks;
      • It is about functionality;
      • How to efficiently optimize the part with the help of CAD software;
      • The redevelopment stage of designing and how the first design will always change;
      • Iterative designs are great for improvement of the end product, and;
      • Ergonomic design techniques.

Using a simple bottle cap opener, students sought to see if they could improve it with design and 3D printing skills (image above of the before and after designs). In addition to the design and printing revisions that helped students achieve a functional finished product, students improved design skills, plus they gained other unique soft skills that will help them as they graduate and head into the workforce or further studies. According to the four professors involved (see list below), from an evaluative standpoint, overall, the project was a success. Both the faculty and students were satisfied with the process and product.

Using this innovative bottle cap opener (image above of the before and after designs), design and 3D printing skills were increased for students and faculty members in this practice. In addition to the design and printing revisions that helped students achieve a functional finished product, students gained other unique soft skills that will help them as they graduate and head into the workforce or further studies. According to the four professors involved (see list below), from an evaluative standpoint, overall, the project was a success. Both the faculty and students were satisfied with the process and product.

      • Dr. Ismail Fidan, Tennessee Tech University
      • Dr. George Chitiyo, Tennessee Tech University
      • Mr. Eric Newland Wooldridge, Somerset Community College
      • Mr. Thomas Singer, Sinclair Community College

The project team also filed a provisional patent application on the Universal Bottle Opener created and designed as part of this collaboration (which we highlighted here on AM News). In addition, the paper provides a terrific case study on the design progression and step by step iterations of the bottle opener. You can download the full ASEE paper for this multi-institution project, including student feedback and learning outcomes.

This project has been funded by NSF Award Number 1601587 entitled AM-WATCH: Additive Manufacturing Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub.

Mark Your Calendars: Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series Fall 2019

The golden eagle is one of the fastest and most agile raptors in North America. As the mascot for Tennessee Tech University (TTU), it is completely appropriate and logical that a majestic bird of prey with a metal material in its name would be used by Dr. Ismail Fidan as he continues to build the Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series for Fall 2019.

With a wide range of additive manufacturing subject matter experts, this workshop series features AM advances, industry innovations, design thinking and materials usage.

This is the eighth semester of lectures organized by TTU and Dr. Fidan. Here are the upcoming virtual lectures that you will want to add to your calendar this fall. The lectures are scheduled for 11—11:30 a.m. CST and can be joined via Zoom at that time.

    • Thursday, Sept. 26: Generative Design Will Change the Future of Manufacturing with Shashi Jain, Strategic Innovation Manager at Intel Corporation, Portland, Oregon.
    • Thursday, Oct. 17: Sustaining Accessibility for Kids’ Creativity with Additive Manufacturing with Pisut Koomsap, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, Pathumthani, Thailand.
    • Thursday, Oct. 31: Design and Additive Manufacturing of Porous Titanium Scaffolds for Optimum Cell Viability in Bone Tissue Engineering with Bingbing Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management, California State University, Northridge, California.
    • Thursday, Nov. 7: FDM based Metal Additive Manufacturing with Haijun Gong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia.

If you want to know how TTU fully embraced their “Golden Eagle” mascot, you can read the full story here. The Golden Eagle is a terrific reflection of the engineering department ethos that its faculty, staff, and students would be driven to show manufacturing and materials excellence in their work — with block tin, gold, and many other materials and methods.

On February 14, 1925, the nickname ‘Golden Eagles’ was officially adopted. It wasn’t until 27 years later that a tangible mascot found its way to the campus. Several Tech students braved a driving night rainstorm to pilfer a huge block-tin eagle statue from the charred ruins of a resort hotel in Monteagle. They painted the creature – with a wingspan of over six feet – a glistening gold, and suspended it from the rafters for public inspection at the following day’s basketball game in Memorial Gym.”

Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Virtual Lecture Series is partially funded by the NSF Award 1601587, “AM-WATCH: Additive Manufacturing-Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub”. The archive of past Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Virtual Lectures is found here.

SME: Manufacturing And Training For The Future

As they say on their website, SME “stands for manufacturing.” As one of the oldest manufacturing organizations, and a long-standing member of the TEAMM Coordination Network, SME, formerly known as the “Society of Manufacturing Engineers,” does a terrific job of promoting the constantly changing world of manufacturing technology and helping professionals (new and existing), educators, and students, to develop and improve their skills.

SME started in the midst of the Great Depression. 33 tool engineers formed the American Society of Tool Engineers in 1932 in Detroit, Michigan. With thousands of members today, the organization has evolved and continues to provide a wide variety of current resources, training events, and courses (through Tooling U-SME), and internationally recognized events, such as the RAPID-TCT trade show, one of the world’s largest 3D printing conferences.

Back in 2017, AM News profiled the Tooling U-SME Additive Manufacturing Training Courses in addition to a number of different posts about their workforce development programs.

In March of this year, we also talked to TEAMM Collaboration Network member, Dr. Ismail Fidan, who is a professor of Engineering at Tennessee Tech and associate author of the Wohlers Report, updating the annual academic R&D and education trends in additive manufacturing (AM) around the world. You can read more of Dr. Fidan’s insights in this post: Demand Grows For 3D Printing Technician Education At Undergraduate And Graduate Levels (which includes the bullet point about SME’s new AM Technician Certificate.

      • SME: The Additive Manufacturing Technician Certification is ideal for a candidate with a two-year associates degree in additive manufacturing or currently enrolled in a college program, and/or has one or more years of working experience in a manufacturing related field. The prep course covers key roles and responsibilities for an AM technician, the AM process chain, design for AM, material and process selection, secondary processes, and key safety considerations. The certification exam is a three-hour proctored, open-book and open-note exam consisting of 120 multiple choice questions.

As additive manufacturing, and traditional manufacturing, continues to change, organizations like SME can fill the knowledge gaps and help professionals and educators stay at the industry cutting edge. At TEAMM and AM News, we are proud that SME “stands for manufacturing” and that they are part of our network.

Learn more about the many membership benefits at SMEHere are a couple of their specific pages about manufacturing and AM certifications you can earn: 

TTU Engineering Students To Present Posters At SME RAPID + TCT 2019

Each year, the nation’s largest 3D printing event, RAPID + TCT, provides an opportunity for students with its Poster Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to foster student interest in additive manufacturing (AM) and provide the AM engineering community with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.

The poster competition also creates a forum where attendees can share ideas with peers, gain visibility as a subject-matter expert, and particularly for students, to establish relationships within the industry as they start preparing for their future career.

There is a dedicated exhibits area at this year’s show in Detroit, Michigan (see our tips for getting the most of out of the RAPID + TCT event) where posters will be displayed on Tuesday and Wednesday; open to all event attendees. On Wednesday, May 22, a special Interactive Poster Session is scheduled where the poster presenters (students) will present their work to the judges, interact with guests, answer questions, and discuss the technology/features of their display.

TEAMM Network member, Tennessee Tech University (TTU) Engineering students (Dr. Ismail Fidan’s team) submitted two poster abstracts and both were accepted this year:

  • Universal Bottle Cap Opener design and 3d-printing
  • Thermomechanical analysis of short-fiber reinforced additively-manufactured components

Students are actively working on their poster presentations. This is Dr. Fidan’s team’s first time submitting posters and are learning that the competition pool is large. Still, it is an honor to be accepted and to be in the running for one of SME’s prizes.

Students must provide a description of the design along with supporting figures and photographs. Poster presentations will be judged on several factors, including:

  • Creativity
  • Integrity of analysis
  • Impact on manufacturing cost, quality or performance requirements
  • Quality of the presentation (timeliness, graphics, clarity, spelling and grammar)
  • Poster display — visual representation

Poster abstracts represent research, case studies and/or applications in any of the following areas:

  • 3D imaging & scanning/CT scanning
  • Additive manufacturing applications
  • Additive manufacturing design considerations
  • Application of AM to the aerospace, automotive, consumer products, medical industry, among others
  • Sustainability of AM
  • Applied academic research
  • Direct-Write printed materials and electronics
  • Engineering Education, Outreach, and workforce development
  • Hybrid systems applications
  • Material development and characterization
  • New and emerging additive manufacturing processes
  • Post processing
  • Software modeling/Digital thread

The competition is open to registered students in their junior or senior year of their undergraduate program or graduate-level degree engineering programs. Although this year’s deadline has passed, students and professors can learn more about the Poster Challenge here.

Poster Challenge Prizes & Awards

The posters will be judged and there will be first runner-up, second runner-up and overall winner. Cash prizes and awards, listed below (subject to the quality of the entries), will be presented onstage at RAPID + TCT prior to the keynotes. Two first prize and two second prize winners will be selected from undergraduate and graduate students.

  • First Prize – $750; Second Prize – $500, Third Prize – $250 (Awardees must be present at the Awards Ceremony on Thursday to accept the prizes)
  • First prize and second prize plaques
  • A certificate of achievement
  • A complimentary, one-year SME membership
  • A recognition letter sent to the winners with a copy sent to the university advisor/educator
  • Recognition letter to a student newspaper/technical publication designated by winners

If you are a professional, moving along in your career, make a point of stopping by the Poster Challenge section and meeting some of these ambitious young women and men to help them on their networking and career journey. The AM industry is growing, but still a niche within the larger manufacturing world and one where we can support and encourage our younger peers.

Wohlers Report 2019 Academic Activities Chapter By Dr. Ismail Fidan

Dr. Ismail Fidan from Tennessee Tech University is in the news often. The engineering department professor is actively serving the AM community; from his students at TTU to the larger group of professionals and analysts who read the annual Wohlers Report. Dr. Fidan contributes a thorough chapter each year on the activities and capabilities within academia.

He notes there is a strong and growing demand for workers trained in additive manufacturing. There are many colleges and universities adding certificates and degrees centered on AM processes. Many of these institutions are conducting research and forming industry-level partnerships within AM.

In the report, he states, “Professional survey results and interviews suggest that skill sets developed using AM technologies are vital for graduating students who are entering the workforce. In response to the growing opportunities in the AM job market, interest among students in AM-related design and manufacturing courses has increased significantly.”

“AM provides students with the opportunity to take their designs to the next level by allowing them to get involved in the fabrication stage. In response to this need, the number  of newly established AM- based makerspaces and innovation institutes around the world has grown significantly.”

As a TEAMM Network member, Dr. Fidan is committed to technician education. In approximately 15 pages, in the Academic activities and capabilities chapter, he chronicles the many academic projects and initiatives taking place around the world. It is a veritable Who’s Who in additive manufacturing.

According to his Wohlers Report 2019 chapter, there are 125 academic institutions and 14 research institutes listed along with short summaries of the areas of focus, including the individuals to contact. The 125 academic institutions are located in the following regions:

      • 28 in Asia/Pacific
      • 34 in Europe
      • 57 in North America
      • 6 in Africa and South America

Dr. Fidan has served as a member of the Wohlers Report team for the last three years. In his role, he collects and reports on the worldwide academic AM practices, trends, and innovations. Currently, he is one of the associate authors of the report. TEAMM continues to look to Dr. Ismail Fidan for his thought leadership within AM and education.