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Development of a 3-D Printer and CNC Milling Desktop Machine for Manufacturing Labs

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Innovations in Manufacturing Laboratories

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Paper Authors


Jorge Rodriguez P.E. Western Michigan University

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Faculty member in the Department of Engineering Design, Manufacturing, and Management Systems (EDMMS) at Western Michigan University's (WMU). Co-Director of the Center for Integrated Design (CID), and currently the college representative to the President’s University-wide Sustainability Committee at WMU. Received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering-Design from University of Wisconsin-Madison and received an MBA from Rutgers University. His B.S. degree was in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Monterrey Tech (ITESM-Monterrey Campus). Teaches courses in CAD/CAE, Mechanical Design, Finite Element Method and Optimization. His interest are in the area of product development, topology optimization, additive manufacturing, sustainable design, and biomechanics.

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Pavel Ikonomov Western Michigan University

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Associate Professor of Engineering, Design, Manufacturing, and Management Systems , has been working on Virtual Reality simulation and 3D printing for more than 20 years. His main focus has been 3-D modeling design and VR simulation in manufacturing and assembly, medical application, large scale dynamic simulation in various research organizations in Japan like Hokkaido University, TMIT and 3D Incorporated and Virtual Reality Center Yokohama (CTO), UCLA (2001-3) and NIST (2002-3). At NIST he was responsible for industrial Virtual Reality Assembly (VADE) and worked with VR simulation for the optical nano-tweezers. Dr. Ikonomov will oversee the development of 3D printing and VR lab. Dr. Ikonomov has more than 120 journal and refereed conference proceedings publications, three books and book chapter.

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Alamgir A. Choudhury Western Michigan University

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Alamgir A. Choudhury is an Associate Professor of Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. His MS and PhD are in mechanical engineering from NMSU (Las Cruces) and BS in mechanical engineering from BUET (Dhaka). His interest includes computer applications in curriculum, MCAE, mechanics, fluid power, and instrumentation & control. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio and affiliated with ASME, ASEE, SME and TAP.

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3D Printer and CNC Milling Desktop Machine

Additive (material formation) and subtractive (material removal) manufacturing technologies have been popularly employed in a variety of fields such as prototyping, modeling, artistry, education, decoration, medicine, and direct production. These manufacturing technologies exist as independent machines of large sizes, different structural components, industrial capacities, professional-skill functionalities, and high costs. However, the field of do-it-yourself (DIY) manufacturing is expanding and creating a demand for personal, desktop-sized machines available to the general consumer.

Desktop machines employing subtractive and additive manufacturing processes have become popular for use by hobbyists, but each process requires a separate machine. In addition, open-source technology has made available hundreds of these newly-emerging machines. But these models also come in a variety of sizes, shapes, capacities, functionalities, and prices; and they are offered by vendors that range from professional companies to DIY enthusiasts spread around the world.

The popularity of additive and subtractive technologies, combined with the growth of DIY manufacturing, has made three-dimensional (3D) printing and computer-numerical-control (CNC) milling the most desirable technologies for personal use. Therefore, this senior project sought to combine CNC milling and 3D printing into one machine; bringing together frame, hardware, controls, and software to operate each process. Staying true to the spirit of DIY manufacturing, the machine’s criteria were defined to have a desktop footprint, an approximate build capacity of 11x11x11 inches, easy access to the product, a flexible interchangeability of the tools, and a focus on plastic, wood, and soft metals as production materials.

Keywords: 3D printer, CNC, additive manufacturing

Rodriguez, J., & Ikonomov, P., & Choudhury, A. A. (2016, June), Development of a 3-D Printer and CNC Milling Desktop Machine for Manufacturing Labs Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26788

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