Solid Freeform Manufacturing Research at Rutgers

This summer I am teaching General Physics II (E&M, circuits, relativity, and quantum mechanics) at Rutgers in Piscataway, NJ. Today on my way to the student center I decided to take a walk through the Materials Science & Engineering building to have a look around. I was hoping to find something interesting, possibly strike up a conversation about Makerbot materials, ans maybe run into my old buddy Steve Miller from my days at Rutgers in Newark who was studying for his materials science Ph.D. the last time we met.

When I walked in I looked on my right and saw in the display case a series of posters and objects that described some of the freeform manufacturing reasearch that has happened at Rutgers. I snapped some pics (below).

There are thee major items that heavily interest me. The ceramic-embedded thermoplastic, pizzo-driven jet, and the wax support material you see in the second image. I don’t know what the pizzo-driven jet is, but I assume that it is an extruder driven by a pizzo-electric device of some kind.

After a few minutes reading the material i decided to contact the researchers, Professors Safari and Danforth. When i walked toward the department directory to find their offices there was Steve Miller standing outside. steve and caught up on things and he offered to introduce me to the professors. Though they were not there Steve offered to arrange a contact sometime soon

So I’m pretty happy to have run into Steve and discovered this new avenue for 3D printing goodness. What’s most exciting in knowing that wax has successfully been used as a support material in and extruder head that does not seem too different from the Plastruder. Hopefully I learn something really cool about 3D printing this week.

Oh, and in the student center I ran into one of my students, Kyle, who told me he can weld, is getting into robots, has been playing with making a 3D scanner, and would love to make a Makerbot.