The University of Tehran Additive Manufacturing (AM) and the 3D printing laboratory has been established in 2017 to provide educational and research services for the academia and industrial sector. It is dedicated to advanced manufacturing research with a primary focus on additive manufacturing of metal, polymer, and composite materials. The scientific services presented by the AM lab. is given to all of the universities, research centers, industries, students and individuals who require them. Clients who wish to seek the service of the University of Tehran AM lab could come in person, via the AM lab web site or by telephone contacts.
3D printing and scanning are new technologies advanced in very recent years which have caused great developments. It empowers almost anyone to manufacture a product as fast and easy as imagining it! Everyone could learn about 3D printing in an equipped laboratory such as the University of Tehran AM lab and become able to follow one’s idea into a product.
The equipment in the AM laboratory:
- 3D FDM printer having two nozzles with a resolution of a 100 micron
- 3D LED resin printer with a resolution of a 45 micron
- 3D printer SSMED developed by the research work in the School of Mechanical Engineering
- Portable 3D scanner for full body
- A 3D printing pen
- Related workshop tools
- Promoting 3D printing by Educating people
- Facilitate the use and application of the technology and know how
- Providing an opportunity for innovation and advancement
Advantages of the AM laboratory:
- Fast prototyping using 3D scanner and printer and the related technologies
- Enjoy consultations with AM specialists in a friendly and innovational environment
- Transform your idea to a real product and see and test it yourself
Industrial and research projects:
Additive manufacturing techniques have a high potential for producing components for different engineering sectors. In the mechanical engineering sector polymeric, ceramic, metallic and composite parts with geometrical complexity are made using AM techniques. Electronic circuits, semiconductors, radar components and LEDs are amongst electrical engineering parts produced by the AM methods. In civil engineering sector, making of various structures, buildings, pathways have been done using AM. Many components in the robotics and mechatronics sectors with high precision and tight tolerances have been manufactured using 3D printing. Bioengineering is really another interesting area where AM has been widely implemented and has found many applications. Other areas such as architecture, art and others are also using AM techniques and there are a lot of potential for engaging the University of Tehran AM lab.
Followings are some descriptions of the many aspects of the AM processes:
- Parts with complicated geometries: one of the main limitations in conventional manufacturing methods is that parts with complicated and spatial geometries are difficult or in some cases impossible to make. This has severe impact on the design of the parts. Development of AM techniques has solved these problems provided new design opportunities. One of the important aspects in part design is the topological optimization which could be done by numerical analysis using software like ABBAQUS. Hence AM techniques have made it possible to design parts with complicated geometries.
- Materials for 3D Printing: from the birth of the additive manufacturing the choice of the materials used in this process has always been a challenge. Polymers, ceramics, composites and metals are being used for the 3D printing processes but each one has its own limitations and shortcomings. FDM is the main process used for the 3D printing and commonly uses a polymer which is heated up to melt and extruded through a nozzle to form the required geometry. However metallic alloys could not be printed in this way and metal powders are used in conjunction with laser beams to print the parts. Low strength, cavities and pores are amongst the defects which form during printing. It would be ideal if one could use metallic wires just like polymeric wires are used in the FDM process to print metallic parts.
To achieve such a goal a PhD project is currently is being done in the AM LAB at the School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran using semi solid metal alloy. This process has been named Semi Solid Metal Extrusion and Deposition (SSMED). It is a promising technique to overcome the existing limitation paused by the present metal 3D printing techniques.
- New AM Methods: Although AM process have been developed in a variety of methods nevertheless there is still plenty of room to progress. For example 3D printing of a components containing more than one material is such goal. Materials, processes, properties and performance go hand in hand and new AM methods could definitely help to promote different aspect for each of these parameters.
- Optimization of the present AM techniques: Most of the already developed AM techniques need further improvement and could be optimized in one way or another. For example advancements in areas such as geometric size tolerances, strength, hardness, flexibility, toughness, smoothness, process control parameters such as production speed, and other factors could be tackled by researchers. These are also amongst the objectives of this lab.