Current Projects:

Direct Manufacturing of Smart Structures:
       Multi-Material Additive Manufacturing 
Bridging Micro- to Macro-:  
        Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing
1Few of AM technologies are able to fabricate multiple materials and composites, yet they are limited to one class of materials (polymer or metal).   To close the  gap of multi-classes material additive manufacturing with controlled dispersion patterns, we are examining novel electrically-assisted and magnetic field-assisted additive manufacturing processes, with the goal of printing multi-classes materials with controlled dispersion patterns.  Such multi-material AM technology could be used to fabricate smart materials/structures directly from digital models.  An example is:
5In a typical Additive Manufacturing system, it is critical to make a trade-off between the resolution and build area for applications in which varied dimensional sizes, feature sizes, and accuracies are desired. We are investigating novel AM systems with dynamic resolution control and build size control, with the goal of bridging micro- or even nano-AM to meso- or even macro-AM without sacrificing build speed.
Printing Large Solid Structure in Seconds:
       Continuous Additive Manufacturing 
Super Smooth Freeform Surface:
      High Surface Finish Additive Manufacturing 
 6How to make 3D Printing a real RAPID manufacturing technology? In current AM systems, processing speed and part quality are critical challenges for producing parts with relatively wide solid cross sections. We are exploring continuous projection Stereolithography process (DLP 3D Printing) through liquid-gel-solid multi-phase modeling, highly oxygen window design, gradient light delivery planning, to reduce separation force and liquid filling time significantly, which will finally result in ultra-rapid manufacturing of products with any SOLID geometries and sizes. This research is supported by NSF award 1563477.
4How to eliminate the stair-case effect in AM fabricated parts? We investigated different approaches and AM technologies including CNC accumulation and meniscus method, both of which demonstrated capability of fabricating extremely smooth surfaces. We are exploring a hybrid manufacturing process by integrating those approaches, aiming to fabricate smooth surfaces with any dimension, curvature, and geometries.
Additive Manufacturing in Biomedical Field Additive Manufacturing in Energy Field
6Each year, more than 100 million animals are killed in U.S. for experimentation purpose. Despite its ethical issue and super high expense, the drug dispersion mechanisms learned from animals rarely translated to humans. With our collaborations in Dr. Linninger’s group, we are exploring direct digital manufacturing of anatomically accurate, physiological functional physical models of the human central nervous system for in vitro intrathecal drug delivery design.  With our collaborations in AllCell Technologies, we are exploring the use of various Additive Manufacturing technologies in thermal energy storage. 

Previous Projects: 

-Manufacturing Capability:

  • Smooth Surface Fabrication in Mask Projection based Stereolithography
  • Multitool and Multi-Axis Computer Numerically Controlled Accummulation for Fabricating Conformal Features on Curved Surfaces
  • An Integrated CNC Accumulation System for Automatic Building-Around-Inserts

-Cost Effective:

  • A Low-cost Parallel Kinematic Machine for Multidirectional Additive Manufacturing

-Time Efficient:

  • A Fast Mask Projection Stereolithography Process for Fabricating Digital Models in Minutes
  • Fast Micro-Stereolithography Process based on Bottom-up Projection for Complex Geometry