Rapid Prototyping Center Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Rotating Powder Analyzer for 3D Printing Optimization

MentorsTom Starr and Tim Gornet
Research Lab/LocationRapid Prototyping Center, Vogt Building 101
Description of Research

Powder Bed Fusion of metals and polymers is one of the primary 3D printing processes used for additive manufacturing of end use parts. The polymer and metal powders are applied layer by layer via a roller or blade to result in a smooth surface prior to being melted by a laser or electron beam. The Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC) is developing a custom rotating powder analyzer to evaluate powder physical properties at various rotational speeds and temperatures. This is critical as polymer powders may exhibit good roll out characteristics at room temperature but poor roll out at temperatures near their melting point. The device has already been constructed and initial image processing work has been completed using MatLab. The focus of this undergraduate research would be the extension of the image processing to calculate average avalanche angle, powder volume change in motion, and applying this to other polymer and metal powders. In addition, the student will assist in developing and constructing a high temperature enclosure for the test device to evaluate the temperature effect on powders.

Comparison Charts3D Printing Powder
  • https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40964-015-0001-4
Minimum Student QualificationsInterest in 3D printing and MatLab programming
Pay StatusUnpaid
Timeline & Hours per Week

Not Specified

Deadline of ProjectNot Specified
If you are interestedEmail (Manager, RPC Operations) or call him at 502 852-0714