Direct Metal Additive Manufacturing
One of our most productive direct metal technologies is the EOSINT M 280 from EOS which provides us with “the perfect solution for direct, cost-efficient manufacturing of high-quality metal tool inserts, prototypes, and end products.” The M280 utilizes direct metal laser sintering technology, allowing the production of complex geometries such as free-form surfaces, deep slots, and coolant ducts.
We’ve been the leader in the use of EBM technology from Arcam AB, including the very first Arcam S12 Machine, followed by an Arcam A2. We have pioneered the use of titanium (Ti-6AI-4V), and have done groundbreaking work with many other materials. We updated our Arcam capabilities with a new Q10 in April 2016. With this new capacity and capability, we’ll be modifying our existing Arcam equipment to better enable us to experiment with new materials and data collection techniques.
All of our direct metal processing activities take place in our ITAR Compliant lab space, including any necessary cleaning/finishing operations.
We have an X1-Lab from ExOne, enabling us to work with some unusual additive materials. From their site: “The X1-Lab is a breakthrough in additive manufacturing equipment. Designed especially for research and educational customers, the X1-Lab is an excellent tool for developing powdered metal and glass materials and processes, as well as training the next generation of manufacturing engineers and powdered metal scientists.”
Polymer Additive Manufacturing
Our highest level polymer based additive technology is our Connex 350 from Stratasys. From their site: “With its 350 × 350 × 200 mm (13.8 × 13.8 × 7.9 in.) build tray, the Objet Connex350 gives you the power to prototype complex, assembled products… it offers outstanding 16-micron, high-resolution layers for printing complex geometries, smooth surfaces, and thin walls.”
One of our first polymer based additive technologies was our Dimension machine, also from Stratasys. Their website describes the FDM technology used in the Dimension machines very well: “3D printers that run on FDM Technology build parts layer-by-layer by the heating thermoplastic material to a semi-liquid state and extruding it according to computer-controlled paths.” We now have two Dimension machines, and just added 4 uPrint SE Plus machines to our stable of FDM printing horses.
All of these machines provide us with excellent resources for training our Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering students in the basics of additive manufacturing in an affordable way.
In March of 2015, we stepped into the world of precision machining with the addition of 3 brand new pieces of sophisticated machining technology. First into the lab was our Citizen Machinery Cincom L20 which gives us screw making capability that is particularly applicable to our medical research activities. It will also give us the capability of making screws that can be used in a nearly infinite number of assembly applications not limited to the medical field.
One of our most important research focus areas is on the finishing of additively manufactured metal parts. Using EBM or DMLS technology can achieve near net shape, but getting all the way to net shape is challenging. Precise finishing of metal parts is critical, and our next machine into the lab was our new haas Multigrind CA. From the haas website, “the CA offers remarkable travel ranges (X-axis: 630 mm; Y-axis: 345 mm; Z-axis: 430 mm), which means you can economically machine larger rotationally symmetrical or cubic workpieces. Depending on the grinding process, the CA can be equipped with grinding wheels with a diameter of up to 250 mm, and 12 wheels fit in the patented double-wheel changer…the CA also offers an impressive level of precision and efficiency in serial production processes.” In other words, we can really do some stuff now.
To complete our technological capability to produce precise metal parts, using “subtractive” equipment of the highest capability was essential. To that end, we are now the proud owners of a new Mazak Integrex i-100ST. From the Mazak website, “The INTEGREX i-100ST advanced Multi-Tasking machine delivers maximum versatility and throughput for smaller complex parts. The machine combines the capabilities of a high-powered turning center and full-function machining center to produce parts in single setups…With full 5-axis capability, the machine easily processes fully prismatic parts from solid or castings (chucked or bar fed work), round parts, or sculptured parts such as aerospace components.” The addition of this equipment, combined with the machines above, make our CAMAL lab extraordinary in what we can do in the future.
We have been fortunate from our beginning to have an outstanding HAAS VF 3ssyt 5 axis machining center which has supported our metals work for several years now. The 3ssyt has been a dependable workhorse and will continue to be an important part of the work we do here at CAMAL.
Furniture and Materials Testing Lab
Directly from the Parameter Generation and Control website is an excellent description of the capability and possible uses of our 30 cubic foot environmental chamber:
“Parameter’s test chambers are designed to accurately produce the temperature and humidity conditions required for applications including stability studies, package testing, TAPPI, MIL-SPEC, and vapor transmission. The 30-cu. ft. chamber features our unique humidity control system, enabling the user to attain unsurpassed levels of RH/temperature control and uniformity. Applications for this unit include diverse industries, such as pharmaceutical development and manufacturing, electronic components, food, semiconductor, paper and pulp, and anywhere precise humidity control and temperature replications are required.
Our walk-in chamber left, is also by the fine folks at Parameter Generation and Control. It has been a real workhorse for us and provides us with a high level of capability we’re pleased to offer to our research and industry partners.
We have been utilizing our “Bifmatic 2000” custom designed testing equipment since 1997. Below are some of the BIFMA tests we routinely perform. You can find more about our BIFMA testing capability at the FMMC testing lab site. The tests we most frequently run are BIFMA 5.1 which includes arm durability, horizontal and vertical arm strength, back durability and strength, drop test, front and side leg strength, load ease, out stop seating impact, front and rear stability, tablet arm and tablet arm-load ease, and tilt seat mechanism. We also test to BIFMA 5.4 which includes horizontal and vertical arm strength and durability, horizontal and vertical back strength and durability, drop test, leg strength test for front and side, seating impact, front and rear stability, structural durability, and unit drop test. We can customize as needed.
Hirox KH-7700 Advanced 3D Digital Microscope
Direct from the Hirox website, regarding the KH-7700, “KH-7700 Digital Microscope System is HIROX’s newest most advanced development. The digital camera, light source, LCD monitor, computer, and software are all integrated into this one unit. The KH-7700 provides the user with the ultimate in high-performance observation, measurement, analysis, recording, management, and output.”
We are extremely well equipped to break stuff and measure the stresses involved to a high degree of accuracy. Our biggest and strongest machine is our ATS Series 1620 20,000 lbs. capacity universal testing machine. From their lips to our web page:
“Our electromechanical Universal Testing Machines are capable of performing virtually any test on almost any material when coupled with our unmatched line of standard and custom testing accessories. As with all ATS equipment, any of our standard frame designs can be custom-modified by our experienced Engineering department to suit any application or space restriction.”
We have a Servo Hydraulic Axial Fatigue Test Machine from the fine folks at Testresources. Ours is a model 910LX15 – 3,300 lb capacity. As the folks at Testresources say, more or less:
“Servo hydraulic test machines typically produce high loads at high test speeds compared to all electro mechanical and electrodynamic test machines. 910 Series test systems are used for product and material tests and include a dual column load frame, servo hydraulic actuator with servo valve, fatigue rated load cell, hydraulic power pack, digital controller and test software. The 910 includes a high-efficiency variable frequency drive servo pump and a servo actuator that includes a high-resolution digital encoder, capable of micron level control. Actuators are available with speeds to 100 Hz and forces to 5500 lb (25 kN). The popular 910 series includes all items needed. “