A group of students at the University of Missouri Rolla recently received the “Best Poster Paper” award from the 2005 Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium in Austin, Texas, for their research into repairing parts using a hybrid-manufacturing system.
The award was based on the manuscript of the paper as well as the poster and presentation by co-author Lan Ren of Anhui, China, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering. Other co-authors include 2005 graduates Kunnayut Eiamsa-ard and Hari Janardanan Nair; Jianzhong Ruan of Hangzhou, China, a postdoctoral researcher in mechanical engineering; and Todd Sparks of Rolla, Mo., a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering.
The students completed their research under the guidance of co-author Dr. Frank Liou, director of the manufacturing engineering program and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UMR.
The paper discusses how part repair can be done in hybrid manufacturing systems. “Using the laser-aided manufacturing process for repair is a fast way to return a part to near-original condition,” Sparks says.
In the future, the technology could be developed into an on-site repair machine to be used everywhere from the battlefield to space. “The technology can also be developed into low-cost desktop machine that every family could afford to repair car parts,” adds Ruan.