Prototyping, Testing and Manufacturing with 3D Printing

As a analysis and growth mechanical engineer, Michael Graham has seen just a few completely different sorts of know-how come and go. However as soon as a university good friend talked about 3D printing to him, he was hooked.

A busy day for the Mug-O-Matic

Since 2011 Michael has labored as a contractor and engineer designing and constructing specialty machines and industrial tools. He has additionally dabbled in 3D printing via his profession, most notably with HP’s multi-jet Fusion 3D printer, and infrequently elsewhere. However in 2012 he picked up an unique Printrbot with the 3D printed and laser lower {hardware} to construct it for the educational expertise.

“I noticed individuals making trinkets on Thingiverse however actually I had no concept what I might use the machine for. It simply appeared like a probably great tool and a profession ability to select up.”

The Amazing Mug-O-Matic!

The Wonderful Mug-O-Matic!

As soon as he moved from the Midwest to Portland, Oregon and found the PDX 3D Printing Lab meetup and the thriving maker neighborhood, he had discovered his tribe of fellow ‘layer geeks’. They meet month-to-month to share tales and nerd out. Additionally they contribute a heavy presence to the annual Portland MakerFaire.

As an engineer, Michael has created exams, jigs and fixtures, and lots of different designs. One in all his main engineering experiments got here after he grew to become curious in regards to the energy of the completely different infill patterns utilized by most 3D printers. So, he constructed a check machine and decided that the rectilinear infill sample was not solely the quickest to 3D print, nevertheless it additionally resulted in a higher closing half energy/weight ratio in comparison with a honeycomb fill. He additionally decided that perimeters have a far higher impact on half energy than infill does by way of energy gained/plastic used. These outcomes helped Michael mannequin the present strategies he makes use of to design his 3D prints. An engineer all the best way!

Michael's Universal Test Machine

Michael’s Common Take a look at Machine

Whereas he has a store with a lathe, a mill, and different bigger manufacturing machines, he makes use of his 3D printer essentially the most. He enjoys seeing the fruits of his labor extra simply repeated and shared. He primarily makes use of a Prusa Mk3 to manufacture his designs.

Michael’s major challenge in the intervening time is the Mug-O-Matic TinyCNC drawing robotic. The Mug-O-Matic is an open-source, extremely modifiable mug printing robotic that makes use of markers, and the route of the creator who makes it, to decorate favourite espresso receptacles with enjoyable designs.

Michael's Gear Light Switch Cover

Michael’s Gear Mild Swap Cowl

“I’ve experimented with constructing a machine to routinely acetone vapor polish abs plastic utilizing an ultrasonic mister. It labored fairly effectively nevertheless it was undoubtedly a hack. These days I’ve my thoughts set on producing novelty robotic kits and my designs particularly DO NOT require any post-processing since that drastically will increase the man-hours wanted to supply them. The imaginative and prescient is to actually scrape components off the print bend and drop them right into a delivery field, with none practical compromises being made.”

Michael is consistently pushed by curiosity and a want to develop and apply new expertise. This lead him to the creation of the Mug-O-Matic, “This explicit work was impressed by quite a lot of tasks found on-line via my curiosity in making toys and constructing automated tools. I actually just like the ‘Eggbot’ egg plotter particularly and the way significantly it takes its foolish process. I wished to create my very own little process particular robotic too, besides with an output that has extra on a regular basis enchantment than eggs. I assumed hmm…I drink espresso on daily basis & I’ve by no means seen a espresso mug plotter earlier than. Sounds enjoyable!  Finally, my toy has completely different priorities than the eggbot, so I take advantage of completely different know-how and commerce off a decreased drawing decision to attain a cheaper price level.”

Michael's Homemade Vapor Polisher for ABS

Michael’s Selfmade Vapor Polisher for ABS

However as a realist, Michael is aware of that supplies for tasks needs to be attainable by everybody, so he makes use of off-the-shelf supplies, as a rule, so everybody can make the most of his creations. Solely when he can’t buy a ready-made resolution does he begin designing new components. At that time, he makes use of no matter materials it takes to get the job achieved proper.

Michael has put his skills to good use, profitable a number of design contests sponsored by, Thingiverse, Pinshape, and others. He attributes his success to placing in a critical effort to make a inventive, unique, and reproducible challenge with glorious documentation. His hottest tasks have a number of hundred thousand views on his web site (hyperlinks beneath).

For the longer term, Michael has many tasks to work on, however he has a weak spot that many people share, “ I strive to not neglect that the most harmful factor affecting my potential to finish a given challenge is…my subsequent challenge! So I strive to not do two tasks without delay. That stated, down the street, I’d have an interest to construct knowledgeable (open-source) model of my TesterBot machine and supply a mechanical testing service. The one limitation is discovering paying purchasers first!”

A three-wheeled design project Michael worked on in college.

A 3-wheeled design challenge Michael labored on in faculty.

We stay up for seeing extra of Michael’s designs come to life sooner or later! To see extra of what Michael is as much as, go to his web site right here:

You may as well see Michaels’ designs on Thingiverse right here:

Do you suppose you’ve what it takes to be our subsequent Hacker of the Month? Merely observe us on Fb/Twitter or e mail Inform us about your challenge or 3D printed creation, and you may be featured in our subsequent publication. The Hacker of the Month can even obtain a free spool of PRO Collection or MH Construct filament to additional their pursuit of 3D printing greatness.