The Department of Mechanical Engineering’s 3D Printing Lab operates printers of two methods of additive manufacturing. The department possesses printers of the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) type and one of the PolyJet type. FDM printers utilize a “hot glue gun” extrusion style, heating a plastic filament and forcing it through an extruder mounted on a Cartesian robot, which directs where the filament is deposited. PolyJet printing works in a way similar to a house-hold ink jet printer; tiny droplets of material are deposited across a row of jet heads, then cured with a UV light to harden the material into shape.

Stratasys Fortus 400 

This production-grade machine demonstrates an elite level of extrusion printing with its exceptional levels of accuracy and precise layer heights. Its large build chamber provides for full-scale parts within reason, and its multiple materials provide an increased utility. Its dual extrusion capabilities allow for soluble support, enabling unique geometric designs to be printed on this machine.

Build Volume: 16x14x16 in (closed chamber) 

Nozzle size: 127, 178, 254, and 330 µm (Depends on material)

Layer Thickness: 127, 178, 254, and 330 µm (Depends on material)

Materials: 

Ultem 9085 (high temperature resistant): natural, black

ABS M30: white, black, gray, red, blue, natural 

ASA: white, black, gray, red, blue, natural 

PC-ISO translucent

Nylon 12

IMG 0309
Stratasys Connex 500 

The Connex boasts the highest print quality and print durability of nearly any additive manufacturing machine on the market (resolution in x,y,z=16 µm). Its massive build chamber allows for large-scale prints, and its unique printing style allows for complex geometries and unique materials, and even multi-material prints. Support removal is different on this machine from any other, in that support is blasted away with a water jet rather than dissolved in a chemical. 

Build Volume: 19.3 x 15.4 x 7.9 in (Closed Chamber)

Nozzle size: 50 µm

Layer Thickness: 16 µm (minimum, automatically determined by software)

Materials: VeroWhite, VeroClear, VeroBlack, TangoPlus, TangoGrey, TangoBlackPlus, TangoBlack, Translucent, RGD515

IMG 0315
Stratasys Dimension 1200

The department houses two of these high-quality, mid-sized machines, capable of dual extrusion for soluble support. 

Build Volume: 10x10x12 in (closed chamber) 

Layer Thickness: 254 or 330 µm 

Materials: ABS with soluble support material

IMG 1096