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Engineers use 3-D printer

By Adam Webb
On January 31, 2014

The mechanical engineering senior design course utilized new and advanced equipment to complete a class group project. The class used a new 3-D printer to complete their assignment. 

The team used a Makerbot Replica 2X, which prints using two heads instead of the traditional one. The team was tasked with using the printer to make syringes filled with fluid.

"It's the present and future of prototyping from anything to a gear to a body panel," said mechanical engineering graduate Dan Hamblen. "You can make anything cost effectively and quickly for Tech students. It allows you to bring your ideas to life." 

Albert Painter completed a research experience for undergraduates internship at Stevens Institute of Technology last summer under the advisement of Dr. Woo Lee. Lee's project involved modifying a Makerbot Replicator 3-D printer to allow it to print from fluid-filled syringes.

Amber Butcher, another mechanical engineering graduate, said, "We designed and built parts that attached to the original printer's motors but used the motors to depress a syringe filled with fluid. Our goal was to design the system. It is the responsibility of Stevens to design the bone tissue fluid and create the files needed to print the correct geometry."

Team member Hannah Ross, a senior mechanical engineering major, said, "The easiest part of the project was probably just becoming familiarized with the operation of the 3D printer in its original form. Albert was the only group member who had much previous experience with 3D printing technology, so the rest of the group had to learn the basic functions of the printer."

The group formed at the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester and decided this was the project they were going to complete.  

Hamblen said he was content with the project's progress and completion.

"I was satisfied with my performance and the group overall succeeded in delivering a modification worth four months of development and implementation," said Hamblen.

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