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Remotely Accessible Laboratory For Rapid Prototyping

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1237.1 - 12.1237.7



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Paper Authors


Ismail Fidan Tennessee Tech University

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Dr. Ismail Fidan is an Associate Professor of Manufacturing and Industrial Technology at TTU. Dr. Fidan is the founder of the NSF-CCLI-AI funded RP lab at TTU and is the recipient of many prestigious national and university-level awards. He is very active as an ABET and NAIT program evaluator and is a leading expert in the field of electronics manufacturing, rapid prototyping and CAD/CAM. Dr. Fidan received his PhD degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic University, Troy, NY.

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Nasir Ghani Tennessee Tech University

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Dr. Nasir Ghani is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at TTU. Prior to joining TTU, Dr. Ghani has accumulated over 8 years of software and telecom industry experience and has held senior positions at Nokia, IBM, Motorola, and several start-ups. At TTU he has quickly built up a strong externally-funded research program and has established a state-of-the-art networking lab. Most recently, he received the NSF CAREER Award (2005) to conduct advanced research in multi-domain/multi-layer high-speed networks. He received his PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Remotely Accessible Laboratory for Rapid Prototyping


The Rapid Prototyping (RP) Laboratory1 was established in Fall 2003 and funded by the National Science Foundation DUE 0311586 grant and Tennessee Tech University (TTU) matching support. Since this time, almost 500 high school students and student(s) studying computer aided design/computer numerical control have practiced with RP technology. In order to further extend a remote access capability to this current laboratory and let more engineering and technology students learn this technology via online materials, a new NSF grant was awarded in Summer 20062. Since this time, the remote RP laboratory development has been in progress. Workshops for Pre-K16 (P16) teachers have been organized for the dissemination of RP and this project. A project website3 has also been developed and feedback collected via an online poll. The scope and current development of the project will be reported in this paper.


RP is expressed as a group of techniques used to quickly produce a scale model of a part using 3D computer aided design (CAD) data. The methodology behind the RP process is an additive technology which builds the parts layer by layer. RP was first developed in the late 1980’s. Since then various RP techniques have become available in the market.

There are various motivations in implementing RP technology. Foremost, this technology decreases product development times while dramatically lowering costly expenses. Namely, detailed RP models can be used for testing, modeling, visualization, patterning, and analysis.

The basic steps for all RP techniques can be generalized as follows4:

• A CAD model of the target part is constructed, and then converted to an STL file format. • The RP machine processes the STL file by creating sliced layers of the model. • The first layer of the part model is created at the machines. The model is then lowered by the thickness of the next layer and the process is repeated until the completion of the model. • The final RP produced part and its support structures are removed. The surface of the part is then post processed and cleaned.

The extra steps integrated into the current TTU RP laboratory to make it remotely accessible are

• To develop an accessing interface to view the lab live. • To set up webcams so that students feel like they work in a real RP lab environment. • To establish some scheduling tools so that students can identify their part submission and delivery dates online. • To form some kind of communication mechanisms to communicate to the lab staff. • To deliver the RP produced part back to student on-time.

Fidan, I., & Ghani, N. (2007, June), Remotely Accessible Laboratory For Rapid Prototyping Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1667

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