Friday, August 9, 2013

AMRI and then some...

So I've been pretty busy to say the least, and I apologize for not updating with more content.

I was invited to join the MAKE mag team for this years 3DP Shootout special (should be on news stands in November) and it was a great experience. Lots of great printers and lots of great "printerers" :). That's all I'll say on it as well! Just really glad I got to be involved and a thanks goes out to all that made it possible.

The 3DP Shootout Crew
Spent a couple of days out in San Francisco, CA area and now I'm currently melting in hot and humid Houston. So Houston, I'm currently one of 3 fellows at Rice University for the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI). Linked is Jordan Miller's, he's the awesome mind behind it all, post on the RepRap blog. Check it out and get involved!

I'm here to not only continue development on the DLP 3D printer this blog is built upon, but to also research and develop the same technology for other purposes (related to Jordan's work and tissue engineering) and gather data from various experiments. So other purposes? I did not bring the same DLP as I was building at work with me, so I've got to build a new one while I'm here. Everything is on order and enroute, that's just phase one. After building it out and getting back to where I am back home in the lab, it'll be time to apply some science! I can't do Jordan's work any good by trying to explain it myself, I'll let him post more about that on the AMRI site, but I can elaborate on the experiments and data I hope to collect.

The Gameplan

DLP printers are not something entirely brand new, folks have been working on this for years now. In my recent time with working on DLP printers, there's a lot of questions I've come across and thanks to AMRI, I'll have a chance to maybe answer some of them. Let's start with the peel/tilt/slide mechanism. Curious to find out how much force is needed to separate the recent print from the vat surface? I plan on measuring just that! What about the effects of dyes/pigments on cure times? How about I measure the rate of polymerization between uncolored and colored resin? Done and done! That's just a few things I'm hoping to look into. It'll all depend on time. My main interests lies within various surface coatings.

Aluminum plates for small actuators

Aluminum plates for large actuators 
Sylgard 184 (not all for me thankfully!)

Optically clear FEP tape
Any other thoughts on what I should look into? Now's your chance to ask! I'm here until at least the 26th of August. Machine should be built out again sometime next week.

Until next time, remember to keep your goggles on!


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