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Board 17: Design and Small-Scale Testing of 3D Printed Seismic Isolators

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jenna Wong P.E. San Francisco State University

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Dr. Wong is a structural engineer broadly focused on seismic design of critical facilities. Her doctorate research at UC Berkeley investigated the applicability of seismic isolation and supplemental viscous damping to nuclear power plants with focus on seismic resilience and safety. The work identified isolation parameters for the optimization of design to produce high performance levels of both structural response and secondary systems. After receiving her PhD, Dr. Wong began a post-doctoral fellowship at Lawrence National Laboratory focusing on developing a modern computational framework for the nonlinear seismic analysis of Department of Energy nuclear facilities and systems. This work seeks to expand the understanding of soil structure interaction for these structures and the means of modeling this behavior both theoretically and experimentally. In addition to her research experience, Dr. Wong also has worked for the public and private engineering sectors in the areas of water infrastructure, transportation, data systems, and project management. She joined San Francisco State University in 2014 as lecturer and is currently an assistant professor of Civil Engineering in the School of Engineering. Her research interests focus on the application of seismic technology for critical facilities and engineering education. She is a member of ASCE, EERI, SEAONC, CAIES, and SWE.

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Lakshmipriya Lakshmipathy Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

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Panfilo Jesus Armas

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Andres Ernesto Paredes

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Chris Park

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Jorge Antonio Campos

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3D printing is a versatile technology with applications spanning from toy production to biomedical devices. With the ability to bring small-scaled prototypes into the classroom, 3D printing offers educators an excellent opportunity to enhance the learning experience. However, in looking at its applications in engineering, civil engineering still falls behind in taking full advantage of this technology which is not only accessible but also relatively inexpensive. This paper will focus on the use of 3D printing to aide in teaching undergraduate students about seismic isolation. As part of their senior design project, civil engineering students at San Francisco State University explore the use and effectiveness of seismic isolation through small scale shake table testing. The structural system is a balsa wood tower using 3D printed friction pendulum seismic isolators at the base. Through dynamic testing, the students see first-hand how isolation works and identify means of sizing the isolators for optimum structural performance. Utilizing these prototype isolators not only reinforces seismic isolation theory but also allows for scaled testing otherwise inaccessible to most students due to the cost of real seismic isolators. This project establishes a foundation of work need to develop 3D printing applications for civil engineering topics for both classroom and outreach purposes.

Wong, J., & Lakshmipathy, L., & Armas, P. J., & Paredes, A. E., & Park, C., & Campos, J. A. (2019, June), Board 17: Design and Small-Scale Testing of 3D Printed Seismic Isolators Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32282

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