The Drayer Department of Electrical Engineering Rapid Prototyping facility is located in room 1008 of the Cherry Engineering Building. It is accessible from the outer hall or from the Senior Design Laboratory (Cherry 1006). The process that is available in the facility is shown in the graphic below. It starts with an idea, then you see the idea for a computer mouse taking shape. The circuit for the mouse is develped in Multisim, a schematic capture and electronics modelling software package that we use in our theory courses and labs. Multisim produces layout files for Ultiboard, a software Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layout program. The Gerber files produced by Ultiboard are input into the T-Tech Isopro software so that the PCB can be milled on our T-Tech HF board mill. After the board is populated with parts and tested, it is ready for an enclosure. One way to develop an enclosure is to model it with clay. The clay model can then be scanned by our Roland LPX-60 3D scanner. The scanner produces a 3D CAD file that can then be printed using our Z-Corp 310+ 3D printer. The CAD file can also be manipulated or changed in the software prior to printing. After the part is printed, we have rework and finishing tools available to make a professional-looking prototype (see below for descriptions of the equipment and examples of student work).
The Quick Circuit HF targets the RF and microwave markets with smoother cuts from the 100,000RPM spindle. The higher spindle speed allows for extended tool life and faster milling speeds. The pneumatic Z axis comes standard on this model making it a perfect match for any soft substrate design. The system includes an integrated sound/dust enclosure with stackable design that makes the Quick Circuit HF a smart decision for any type of lab environment. With this system also comes the IsoPro software, which enables automatic data conversion from almost any CAD package and is designed to be intuitive to the engineer. The software also has the ability to import DXF and export Gerber data.
Roland DG Corporation has expanded its line of LPX 3D laser scanners with the addition of the LPX-60, a new 3D laser scanner designed to deliver all the precision of Roland´s larger, more advanced LPX-600 in a compact, affordable device. Designed for ease of use, the LPX-60 can be controlled from a single button and comes complete with user-friendly scanning software that creates high-quality digital data from a wide variety of objects. "The LPX-60 is ideal for reverse engineering and for designing smaller items for the production of clay prototypes," said Toshi Yahiro, Roland DG marketing manager. "The LPX-60 is unique in that it allows virtually anyone to create 3D files without a lengthy learning curve. Its unprecedented ease of use makes the LPX-60 well suited for vocational training and other educational applications as well as commercial use. Instructors and designers can operate the LPX-60 with confidence - even without previous training on the device."
The ZPrinter® 310 Plus creates physical models directly from digital data in hours instead of days. It is fast, versatile and simple, allowing engineers to produce a range of concept models and functional test parts quickly and inexpensively. The system is ideal for an office environment or educational institution, providing product developers easy access to a 3D Printer. The ZPrinter 310 Plus' sleek design and straightforward user interface make it the ideal entry-level rapid prototyping system. In addition, the versatility of the machine allows users to make parts quickly for early concept evaluation and testing, painted parts for a finished look, or patterns for casting applications.
The printer's 3D volume print area. Seniors Paul Davis (standing) and Josh Hollis Nelson Gaspard readies the dust off area. Getting the part ready for removal.
(sitting) watch the operation videos. Junior
Joel Krueger looks on.
The part is removed from the printer. The excess powder is removed. The part is infiltrated (hardened) with The completed and painted part, a model of
cyanoacrylate (SuperGlue). the DEEP Team's Mars drill rig.