Physical Exploration and Training – Factory Automaton Boxes (PET-FABs)
PET-FABS will provide inexpensive, short learning curve suites of equipment and software that can be used for student engagement, rapid innovation, teaching and competition. HAMMER will develop standard equipment and training modules for many educational settings.
Point of Care Manufacturing
HAMMER will use dimensional data and multiple processes, including deformation to create medical devices customized for a given patient. Personalized medical devices are already in wide use for joint replacements, fracture and graft fixation hardware, heart valves, surgical guides, limb prostheses and dental implants. One example of trauma therapy where Point-of-Care Manufacturing (POCM) can make a difference is craniofacial trauma reconstruction. It is commonly done on computer using an injured patient’s 3D CT-scan and a model of that reconstruction is 3D printed. The surgeon will then spend hours bending skeletal fixation plates to that model by hand, one at a time. That plan would be sent to a bank of robots that would fabricate all of them in minutes. One could envision gaining as much as a day, an advance that would quickly bring this technology to the clinic.
Numerical forming is the ability to manufacture components with optimal geometry and tailored performance from material-state aware control of incremental forming. The incorporation of real-time, inverse-design models of feasible material state into in manufacturing design through AI methods will result in multi-objective optimization for performance that is currently inaccessible with the existing microstructural design paradigm. When successful, numerical forming testbed will enable industrial collaborators to translate the research to manufacture forming with purposeful gradients in properties using smaller, more agile manufacturing supply chains.
Additive + X
Current additive manufacturing techniques use deposition and thermal processing to develop material structures and these structures control properties. Thermomechanical processing, (thermal processing with deformation) provides far more flexibility to create an optimal microstructure. Large components can be broken up and any porosity from deformation can be eliminated. This use of hybrid processing has special appeal in this area.