This project is studying the impact that graded material transitions have on the performance of multi-material components. The researchers have generated a set of tensile test samples that represent multiple approaches to creating graded material transitions. These samples were produced using multi-material 3D printing and tested to determine the effect that each transition type has on tensile strength and elasticity. Several transition types were found to provide significant improvements in tensile strength. Current work is investigating how the elasticity of the samples can be controlled and how the best performing transition types can be produced on low-cost prototyping equipment.
This project is studying methods of automating the planning of multi-material manufacturing processes through the development of a new framework for representing and computing functionally-graded materials for use in rapid prototyping applications. This framework includes low-level operations for combining geometries together and algorithms which assist the designer in computing manufacturing-compatible sequences. These algorithms can then be applied to generate manufacturing steps for multi-material models. This research is informing the development of a software planning tool which will simplify a process through which robust and low-cost robots can be created for education or research.
This project is studying methods of automating the planning of multi-material manufacturing processes. Manufacturing considerations when using operations, including 3D printing, casting, and laser cutting, are being analyzed and used to define a procedure for generating a list of manufacturing steps. This research is informing the development of a software planning tool for automatically generating the manufacturing process and the files necessary to execute it. This project benefits the fields of education and research by simplifying a process through which robust and low-cost robots can be created.