Below is a list of the machines we have available in the shop as well as their respective difficulties and dangers to the user.
3D Printer (Projet 3510 HD Plus)
3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. 3D printing is also considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes).
The ProJet 3510 HDPlus uses Multi-Jet Modeling technology to deliver high quality, durable plastic parts. This model has 3 different resolution modes for printing concept models, verification prototypes and patterns for pre-production and manufacturing.
These UV-cured plastic materials are available in a range of colors, translucencies and tensile strengths, with melt-away white wax as support. Currently the PFF supplies all users with VisiJet Crystal and VisiJet S300 support wax. VisiJet Crysta is engineered plastic performance for durability and stability ideal for functional testing and rapid tooling applications. This material also provides true plastic look and feel for a vast array of prototyping and end use applications. VisiJet Crystal is USP Class VI certified for approved medical applications.
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Laser Cuter (VLS 6.60)
Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser, by computer, at the material to be cut. The material then either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas, leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish. Industrial laser cutters are used to cut flat-sheet material as well as structural and piping materials. The software supports vector and raster files cut into cast acrylic or delrin, the system also supports Teflon and some woods. Do not cut PVC, any thick metals, or anything thicker than 1/2″.
The VLS6.60 has a wide and deep engraving area that can accommodate a variety of materials. The VLS6.60 offers a 60 watt laser and a material processing envelope of 32″ x 18″ x 9″.
Note: This is not the exact model cutter we have, it is just an example of laser cutting.
CNC Mill (Roland MDX 540)
CNC milling-machines are multiaxis machines allowing the horizontally mounted workpiece to be rotated, essentially allowing asymmetric and eccentric turning. When all of these axes are used in conjunction with each other, extremely complicated geometries, even organic geometries such as a human head can be made with relative ease with these machines. This machine also features a tool chaning system that allows up to 4 different tools per job to decrease manufacturing time and increase precision when needed.
Drill Press (Jet 17″ Drill Press)
A drill press (also known as pedestal drill, pillar drill, or bench drill) is a fixed style of drill that may be mounted on a stand or bolted to the floor or workbench. It consists of a base, column (or pillar), table, spindle(or quill), and drill head, usually driven by an induction motor. The table can be adjusted vertically and is generally moved by a rack and pinion. The table allows a vise or clamp to be used to position and restrain the work, making the operation much more secure. Drill presses are equipped with more powerful motors compared to hand-held drills. This enables larger drill bits to be used and also speeds up drilling with smaller bits.
Mill (Bridgeport Series I Standard Mill)
Milling operates on the principle of rotary motion. A milling cutter is spun about an axis while a workpiece is advanced through it in such a way that the blades of the cutter are able to shave chips of material with each pass. Milling processes are designed such that the cutter makes many individual cuts on the material in a single run; this may be accomplished by using a cutter with many teeth, spinning the cutter at high speed, or advancing the material through the cutter slowly. Most often it is some combination of the three. The speed at which the piece advances through the cutter is called feed rate, or just feed; it is most often measured in length of material per full revolution of the cutter.
Lathe (South Bend 28″ Bench Lathe)
The Lathe is a machine tool which rotates the workpiece on its axis to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, order formation, facing, turning, with tools that are applied to the workpiece to create an object which has symmetry about an axis of rotation.
Lathes are used in woodturning, metalworking, metal spinning, Thermal spraying/ parts reclamation, and glass-working. Lathes can be used to shape pottery, the best-known design being the potter’s wheel. Most suitably equipped metalworking lathes can also be used to produce most solids of revolution, plane surfaces and screw threads or helices. Ornamental lathes can produce three-dimensional solids of incredible complexity. The material can be held in place by either one or two centers, at least one of which can be moved horizontally to accommodate varying material lengths
Band Saw (Jet 8201-k 1HP)
A bandsaw is a power tool which uses a blade consisting of a continuous band of metal with teeth along one edge to cut various workpieces. The band usually rides on two wheels rotating in the same plane, although some bandsaws may have three or four wheels. Band-sawing produces uniform cutting action as a result of an evenly distributed tooth load. Bandsaws are used for woodworking, metalworking, or for cutting a variety of other materials, and are particularly useful for cutting irregular or curved shapes, but can also be used to produce straight cuts.
Stock Material Policy
Acrylic sheets, Delrin sheets, 3D printer material as well as 6061 Aluminum sheets, blocks and rods are stocked within the shop for use by all trained personnel. These materials are for initial prototyping and testing. We kindly ask that you provide your own materials if you plan to extensively use the shop or frequently manufacture items. If you need assistance in finding where to purchase specific materials please ask the shop director or visit http://www.mcmaster.com