Attend an additive manufacturing of elastomer, ceramic and metal multi-functional structures seminar, March 15

Portrait of Eric MacDonald, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering

Join the School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks as they host Eric MacDonald, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso, for a seminar on additive manufacturing of elastomer, ceramic and metal multi-functional structures.

Additive Manufacturing of Elastomer, Ceramic and Metal Multi-functional Structures
Friday, March 15, 2024
10:30 a.m.–noon
Technology Center (TECH) 162, Polytechnic campus [map]


3D printing has been historically relegated to fabricating conceptual models and prototypes; however, increasingly, research is now focusing on fabricating functional end-use products. As patents for 3D printing expire, new low-cost desktop systems are being adopted more widely, and this trend is leading to a diversity of new products, processes, and available materials. However, currently, the technology is generally confined to fabricating single-material static structures. For additively manufactured products to be economically meaningful, additional functionalities are required to be incorporated in terms of electronic, electromechanical, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, chemical, and optical content. By interrupting the 3D printing and employing complementary manufacturing processes, additional functional content can be included in mass-customized structures.

This presentation will review work in multi-process 3D printing for creating structures with consumer-anatomy-specific wearable electronics, electromechanical actuation, electromagnetics, propulsion, embedded sensors in soft tooling, and including metal and ceramic structures. Other projects to be presented include stereo vision process monitoring of powder bed fusion, 3D printed smart molds for sand casting, complex ceramic lattices for electromagnetic lenses, elastomeric lattices for athletic gear, computational geometry, and complexity theory for 3D printing.

About the speaker

Eric MacDonald is a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering and holds the Murchison Chair at the University of Texas at El Paso. He also serves as the associate dean of research and graduate studies for the College of Engineering. MacDonald earned his doctoral degree in 2002 in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. With 12 years of industry experience at IBM and Motorola, he later co-founded a start-up specializing in CAD software, which was eventually acquired by a Silicon Valley firm.

MacDonald has held faculty fellowships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, U.S. Navy Research and was honored with a U.S. State Department Fulbright Fellowship in South America. His research focuses on 3D-printed multi-functional applications and process monitoring in additive manufacturing, integrating instrumentation and computer vision for enhanced quality and yield. As a co-founding editor of the Elsevier journal Additive Manufacturing, MacDonald played a pivotal role in directing it to have the highest impact factor among all manufacturing journals worldwide. Additionally, he has been instrumental in commissioning a second partner journal, Additive Manufacturing Letters, serving as its editor-in-chief.

Notable recent projects under MacDonald’s leadership include the 3D printing of structures like nanosatellites with structurally-embedded electronics. One of these satellites was successfully launched into Low Earth Orbit in 2013, and a replica is currently on display at the London Museum of Science. MacDonald boasts more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and holds dozens of patents, including one licensed by Sony and Toshiba from IBM. He is a member of ASME, ASEE, a senior member of IEEE, and a registered Professional Engineer in the U.S. state of Texas.

Follow Eric MacDonald on LinkedIn.