DIGITAL FAB LAB

Facility Layout

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Equipment

Stratasys uPrint 3D Printer

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology

Build size: 203 x 152 x 152 mm

Link to specifications

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using additive processes, where an object is created by laying down successive layers of material. 3D printing is considered distinct from traditional machining techniques (subtractive processes) which mostly rely on the removal of material by drilling, cutting etc.

FDM works on an “additive” principle by laying down material in layers. A plastic filament or metal wire is unwound from a coil and supplies material to an extrusion nozzle which can turn the flow on and off. The nozzle is heated to melt the material and can be moved in both horizontal and vertical directions by a numerically controlled mechanism, directly controlled by a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software package. The model or part is produced by extruding small beads of thermoplastic material to form layers as the material hardens immediately after extrusion from the nozzle. Stepper motors or servo motors are typically employed to move the extrusion head.

 

|uprint

Solido SD300 Pro 3D Printer

Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) / Plastic sheet lamination technology (PVC)

Build size: 160 x 210 x 135 mm

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Laminated object manufacturing (LOM) is a rapid prototyping system where layers of adhesive-coated paper, plastic, or metal laminates are successively glued together and cut to shape with a knife or cnc or laser cutter.

 

 SD300

Roland MDX-40A 3D Desktop Milling Machine

Direct 3D model to prototype via Subtractive Rapid Prototyping(SRP)

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 MDX-40A

Z Corporation Zprinter 350

Powder bed and inkjet head 3d printing (3dp)

Build size: 203 x 254 x 203 mm

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As in many other rapid prototyping processes, the part to be printed is built up from many thin cross sections of the 3D model. An inkjet-like printing head moves across a bed of powder, selectively depositing a liquid binding material in the shape of the section. A fresh layer of powder is spread across the top of the model, and the process is repeated. When the model is complete, unbound powder is automatically removed.

 Z350

Formiga P 100 Laser-Sintering System

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Build size: 200 x 250 x 330 mm

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Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a high power laser (for example, a carbon dioxide laser) to fuse small particles of plastic, metal (direct metal laser sintering), ceramic, or glass powders into a mass that has a desired 3-dimensional shape. The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3-D digital description of the part (for example from a CAD file or scan data) on the surface of a powder bed. After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed. Because finished part density depends on peak laser power, rather than laser duration, a SLS machine typically uses a pulsed laser. The SLS machine preheats the bulk powder material in the powder bed somewhat below its melting point, to make it easier for the laser to raise the temperature of the selected regions the rest of the way to the melting point.

 P 100

Objet Connex350 Multi-Material 3D Printing System

Stereolithography (SLA)

Simultaneous multi-material jetting technology

Build size: 342×342×200 mm

Link to specifications

Stereolithography is a method and apparatus for making solid objects by successively “printing” thin layers of the ultraviolet curable material one on top of the other. A concentrated beam of ultraviolet light is focused onto the surface of a vat filled with liquid photopolymer. The light beam draws the object onto the surface of the liquid layer by layer, and using polymerization or cross-linking to create a solid, a complex process which requires automation.

The Objet PolyJet system uses an inkjet printer to spray photopolymer materials in ultra-thin layers (16 micron) layer by layer onto a build tray until the part is completed. Each photopolymer layer is cured by UV light immediately after it is jetted, producing fully cured models that can be handled and used immediately, without post-curing. The gel-like support material, which is designed to support complicated geometries, is removed by hand and water jetting. Also suitable for elastomers.

 350

LaserPro Spirit Engraving

CO2 Laser

Work area: 640 x 460 mm

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Laser engraving, and laser marking, is the practice of using lasers to engrave or mark an object. The technique does not involve the use of inks, nor does it involve tool bits which contact the engraving surface and wear out. These properties distinguish laser engraving from alternative engraving or marking technologies where bit heads have to be replaced regularly or inks have to be used.

 Spirit

Raytec RTW-100D Large Format Laser Cutting System

Water-cooled sealed tube 100W CO2 laser

Work area: 1300 x 900 mm 

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Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses and hobbyists. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser, by computer, at the material to be cut. The material then either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas, leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish. Industrial laser cutters are used to cut flat-sheet material as well as structural and piping materials.

CO2 lasers are commonly “pumped” by passing a current through the gas mix (DC-excited) or using radio frequency energy (RF-excited). The RF method is newer and has become more popular. Since DC designs require electrodes inside the cavity, they can encounter electrode erosion and plating of electrode material on glassware and optics. Since RF resonators have external electrodes they are not prone to those problems. CO2 lasers are used for industrial cutting of many materials including mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, paper, wax, plastics, wood, and fabrics.

 RTW 100D

Universal Laser Systems PLS6.75

Work area: 813 x 457 mm

Link to specifications

 

 PLS