June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.157.1 - 26.157.15
Additive Manufacturing of Robot Components for a Capstone Senior Design ExperienceThe University of X competed in the 5th Annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition with arobot that included several additively manufactured (AM) parts. The team used a design-build-test approach throughout their project and was drawn to additive manufacturing (or rapidprototyping) to help them to reduce the cycle time on each iteration of the design-build-testprocess. Two different technologies, fused deposition modeling (FDM) and film transferimaging (FTI), were used to additively manufacture these parts, using a Stratasys Dimension and3D Systems VFlash respectively. These technologies provided some significant advantages inproducing complex parts for the robot, but they did come with some limitations as well. Severalstudents started the project with the mainstream notion that additive manufacturing allowedeffortless printing of any part you desired from a CAD file. Through both successes and failures,they came to realize both the limitations and appropriate application of both the FDM and FTIprocess and their associated materials.The AM parts that ultimately made it on to the robot included replacement aperture covers for aphotomultiplier tube (PMT), a custom gimbal used to orient the PMT, a latch used to secure adeployed arm, enclosures to protect sensors mounted on the robot exterior, and customenclosures for the laser beacon system used for navigation. Notable disappointments for the AMparts included issues with parts warping, inappropriate application of sparse internal structures,and restrictions related to discrete layer thicknesses. These setbacks were ultimately resolved byeither redesigning the parts, additional post processing, or shifting to alternative manufacturingapproaches. The key success for the AM parts included the desired reduction in cycle time,effective matching of existing complex geometry, efficient mass reduction, and increasedproductivity by allowing students to move on to other tasks while parts were being printed.Once final embodiments were settled on for the various AM parts, they performed their intendedfunctions without incident throughout the testing and competition at Kennedy Space Center.
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015