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Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory

Overview

The Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory at the University of Maryland provides the state of the art facilities for realizing next generation products and educating the next generation of engineers. We believe in working closely with the industry to advance the manufacturing field. The focus of the lab is on both process as well as system level manufacturing solutions. The current research activities include manufacturing process and system simulation, process planning, production planning, manufacturability analysis, and nanomaterial processing. Current facilities include injection molding, CNC machining, ceramic gel casting, in-mold assembly, layered manufacturing, power processing, high temperature sintering, and resin transfer molding.

Capabilities available

Machine Name Capabilities Image
Boxford A3HSRmi2 CNC Router 3 Axis high speed machine; used for machining mold inserts made out of Aluminum box
Benchman XT CNC Machining Center 4 Axis machine with automatic tool changer; used for machining plastics and metals bench
proLIGHT Turning Center Used for turning prolight
Two Milacron Babyplast Injection Molding Machines Used for injection molding thermoplastics (filled and unfilled) upto 8 grams in weight; two machine setup enables us to perform in-mold assembly by transferring molds between two machines
Pattern Master Pattern Making Machine Rapid prototyping machine for making thermoplastic parts pattern
Coordinate Measuring Machine Operating envelope: SIZE:75"x 55"x 110 coordinate
Vacuum Chamber Used for material processing for manufacturing vacuum

Research Focus Areas

Current focus areas of AML include the following:

Multi-Piece Molding: Multi-piece molds can be used to make complex-shaped parts that cannot be made by two-piece molds. Multi-piece molding technology overcomes the restrictions imposed by traditional molds by having many parting directions. These molds have more than one primary parting surface and consist of more than two mold pieces or subassemblies. Each of these mold pieces has a different parting direction. This freedom to remove the mold pieces from many different directions eliminates the undercuts produced by two-piece molds and enables us to make geometrically complex structures.

In-Mold Assembly for Creating Articulated Structures: We have shown that in-mold assembly can be used to create plastic products with articulated joints. In-mold assembly eliminates the need for post-molding assembly and reduces the number of parts being used in the product, hence improving the product quality. We have developed proven mold design templates for realizing revolute, prismatic, and spherical joints. We have also developed proven mold design templates for realizing joints found in compliant mechanisms.

In-Mold Assembly at the Mesoscale: In-mold assembly at the mesoscale is significantly different from the molding at the macroscale. The prefabricated part inside the mold experiences significant mechanical and thermal loading due to its small size. This makes the part vulnerable to significant damages. Due to this, a new molding approach is needed to perform in-mold assembly at the mesoscale. We demonstrated the technical feasibility of creating rigid body mesoscale joints using in-mold assembly process. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of in-mold assembly process using a morphing cavity mold to create a mesoscale revolute joint.

Injection molding of fiber-filled polymers: Emerging filled polymer composite materials have improved mechanical, thermal, electrical properties compared to unfilled polymers. We have the capabilities to mold highly conductive fiber-filled polymers. This capability is being used to create polymer heat exchangers and heat sinks.

More information

Visit the lab website

We are located in Room 1110 in JM Patterson Building. For more information, please contact:

Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta
Mechanical Engineering Department and Institute for Systems Research
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405 5306
Email: skgupta@umd.edu

 

   
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