Current and Previous Projects

  • bird225x150

    Bird Energy Harvesting

    This project was started at Cornell University and brought to NAU by Dr. Michael Shafer (Mechanical Engineering). The purpose of this project is to collect data from the birds flight paths. Previously, this was difficult because the birds could not carry heavy battery packs to power the equipment. Dr. Shafer developed a device to harness power from the birds motions while flying to power the data collecting equipment. Lightweight backpack frames were designed to hold everything securely on the birds and to not weight them down. The frames contain all of the electronics, holding them in place while allowing certain components to move, with the bird, while in flight. These parts were printed in the RAPIDLab using our Objet 30pro 3D printer due to its ability to print very small, lightweight parts.

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    MRI Scan Skull

    This project was completed by Jill Urban, an undergraduate student, in the Spring of 2009, before the VPR was involved with the RAPIDLab. She took individual MRI images and filtered out the soft tissue so only the bone was left using MatLab. Then she loaded the exterior skull profiles into SolidWorks and made a computer model of the skull. Finally, she used the computer model to print a replication of the skull at a smaller scale. The skull was printed in our Dimension SST 768 3D printer out of ABS plastic. The entire project took 2 semesters to complete.

  • Assay Reader350x215
    Assay Reader350x215

    Assay Reader

    The purpose of this project was to create a portable device that could test and report the concentrations of certain compounds in ground water. The previous method of testing required a sample to be collected on site and transported to a lab where it could be analyzed. We developed an all-in-one system to complete these tests on-site. This included a cartridge that holds several testing strips and allows a small water sample to contact each of the strips without cross contaminating indicators, as well as a reader that imaged the cartridge, analyzed the data, and reported the values through the use of a touch screen. We also created the user interface architecture, which showed how the software would flow when used. All of the parts made for this project were designed in SolidWorks and printed using our Fortus 400mc 3D printer out of polycarbonate plastic (PC). This project was completed in conjunjunction with Dr. Catherine Propper (Biology), Dr. Timothy Vail (Biology), Dr. John Tester (Mechanical Engineering), Dr. Niranjan Venkatraman (Electrical Engineering), Kathleen Freel (Biology), Tanya Gallagher (Mechanical Engineering), and Edward Kemper (Electrical Engineering).

  • WFM Linear Actuator225x150
    WFM Linear Actuator225x150

    WFM Linear Actuator

    The WFM Linear Actuator (LA) is a device that was designed and built by the RAPIDLab to simulate muscle movement and forces based on the Winding Filament Model (WFM), developed by Dr. Kiisa Nishikawa (Biology). This model incorporates an element to represent the titin protein, which has previously not included in muscle models. The LA will be used to compare computer simulated results with physical results and may eventually will be implemented into prosthetic devices and rehabilitation systems. Some of the parts were made using our Haas TM1p 3-axis CNC mill, and some of them were printed out of polycarbonate (PC) using our Fortus 400mc 3D printer. All parts were designed in SolidWorks.

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    Ballistics Handling System

    Tanya Gallagher, Associate Engineer for RAPIDLab, designed a device to hold ballistics cartridges, of varying sizes, centered in the same position every time. To do this, she came up with a spring loaded, 6 thooth, iris clamp design. This device will be used in the Applied Physics Department in Dr. Christopher Mann’s laboratory by Glenn Pagano, Graduate Student, who is developing a way to create 3D images of ballistics cartridges as a part of his thesis. All parts were designed in SolidWorks and printed out of polycarbonate (PC) in our Fortus 400mc 3D printer.

  • Seated man 225x150
    Seated man 225x150

    Seated Man

    Undergraduate student in the Media Arts program, Phillip Nogueras, used a program called Pixologics Zbrush to create a model of a person, he called Seated Man. RAPIDLab took the model and scaled it, so the man could hold an 8cm sphere, similar to Atlas holding the world. We then 3D printed the man using our Dimension SST768 3D printer using ABS plastic.

  • SPE mold 225x150
    SPE mold 225x150

    Solid Polymer Electrolyte (SPE) Mold

    Dr. Constantin Ciocanel (Mechanical Engineering) needed a mold to form his solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) samples into a shape that was able to be mechanically tested in a tensile testing machine. These samples had very specific geometry requirements, including fillets and changes in thickness and width, to ensure that the samples failed in the appropriate area. This required the use of our Haas TM1p, a 3-axis CNC mill, to make curved cuts in all three planes. The mold was designed in SolidWorks.

  • capillary 225x150
    capillary 225x150

    Capillary Action Plates

    The first task on this project was to determine what diameters of holes we were able to successfully print using our Objet 30 pro Polyjet 3D printer. We printed a block with the different hole sizes and their corresponding diameters printed next to each hole. Diameters were in micrometers. Once we knew how small the holes could be without deformations and the deviation in the machine, we were able to print plates to mount capillary tubes with even spacing and without touching.