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Learn about overcoming challenges in additive manufacturing, including both design methods and the manufacturing process as well as Design for Additive Manufacturing research applications in mechanical and biomedical engineering.

Design for Additive Manufacturing — Toward Direct Digital Manufacturing
Presented by Yunbo Zhang, Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

Monday, February 27, 2017
9:30 a.m.
Santa Catalina Hall (SANCA) 155, Polytechnic campus [map]
Watch this seminar via Adobe Connect


Additive manufacturing (AM) is a promising technique for fabricating 3D objects with complex shapes and custom materials, which are difficult to be fabricated by the traditional manufacturing processes. Since AM technology arose in the early 1980s, it has evolved from rapid prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), in which manufactures end-use products directly from a digital model without intervening tooling. DDM can be realized by integrating advanced manufacturing process and new design methods.

Currently, there are still many challenging problems existing in the Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) research, which prevent AM from producing end-use products. This talk will present Yunbo Zhang’s research on a series of design methods and geometric modeling algorithms to tackle some of the challenges in DfAM, including designing products with freeform shapes and embedding multi-functional components in AM process. AM techniques enable the manufacturing of 3D objects with complex freeform shapes.

As traditional CAD systems adopt parametric surfaces to represent 3D shapes, it is difficult for them to design products with freeform shapes. To fill the gap between current CAD software and the demands of designing freeform products, a novel computational design framework was developed to enable users to design additive manufacturable freeform products. To complement the functionality of the printed products, a new AM system for embedding functional components during the process was also studied.

Multiple degree-of-freedom (DOF) and multi-process were introduced into existing AM process, which enabled functional components embedding and more flexible toolpath planning. The new opportunities brought by newly added DOF were explored, such as support material reduction and non-planar layer printing.

In this talk, Zhang presents both the design methods and the manufacturing process, as well as some related topics in DfAM and its applications in mechanical and biomedical engineering.

About the speaker

Yunbo Zhang is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in School of Mechanical Engineering at the Purdue University. He received his doctoral degree in the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

His research interests include design for additive manufacturing, computer-aided design and manufacturing, human-centered design and manufacturing, and geometric and solid modeling.

He has published 11 journal papers and eight conference papers. Zhang’s survey paper about additive manufacturing has become the most downloaded paper in the last 90 days on the Journal of Computer-aided Design (JCAD).

Zhang received a few awards from professional societies and industries including Best Lifestyle Bronze Award from Hong Kong ITC Awards in 2008, Championship of Vice-Chancellor’s Cup of Student Innovation from CUHK in 2009, and Purdue Postdoc Travel Grant 2016-2017. He is a member of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and he is actively serving on the judging and reviewing panels of conferences and journals. He also worked as a guest editor for journal of Computer-Aided Design and Applications on a special issue of “Technologies for Human Centric Free-form Products of Computer-Aided Design and Applications.”


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