Skip to main content

Additive Manufacturing with a Robotic Arm

Primary Investigators:
Prof. Kevin Galloway
Prof. Alvin Strauss 

Brief Description of Project:
The Vanderbilt NERD (Nature-Inspired, Engineering, Robotics, and Design) lab and Vanderbilt Welding Automation Lab (VUWAL) are seeking talented engineers to help advance materials development and digital fabrication methods for an emerging class of 3D printable reactive materials. Reactive materials are solids, such as metals and metal oxides (think iron oxide and aluminum powder) that are capable of releasing large amounts of thermodynamic energy very rapidly. In this work we explore how we might intelligently deposit this high energy/heat reaction onto and into structures to safely support constructive and destructive missions.

This specific summer research project will focus on expanding our digital fabrication capabilities to an open-source robotic arm, such as the uArm -- More specifically, we are interested in precisely depositing reactive materials onto objects for cutting and welding applications, and are seeking help from talented engineers to make that happen!

Desired Qualifications: 
The ideal candidate is someone looking to gain research experience, who is interested in robotics, and is excited by the idea of applying their skills to additive manufacturing. CAD/mechanical design and programming experience is desired.

Required Qualification: US Citizenship 

Nature of Supervision:
You will work with Dr. Galloway and a doctoral student from Dr. Strauss’s lab.
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
(1) Briefly review reactive materials.
(2) Become the resident expert on the open-source robotic arm.
(3) Develop an adapter to 3D print pastes with the robotic arm.
(4) Create compelling demonstrations depositing material onto objects.
(5) Proposed a development plan for next steps. 

Number of Open Slots: 2
Contact Information:
Name: Kevin Galloway
Department: Mechanical Engineering