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  • Jul 20, 2017

    A development that might revolutionize 3D printing is now at RIT. It involves liquid metal.

    It is part of a partnership between a startup out of buffalo and a group of local engineers. That startup is Vader Systems that started in their basement in Buffalo four years ago by a father and son.

    Anything from car parts, to body parts, this machine has endless possibilities. "It can print virtually any shape that you want," said Denis Cormier, Ph.D. Professor Kate Gleason College of Engineering. "And you eliminate the mold and the complexity and the cost." Cormier runs the 3D printing center 'AMPrint Center' at RIT and received this liquid metal 3D printer from Vader Systems out of Buffalo. This machine was the first model ever created by Vader systems.

    "We are working closely with them to help bring this to market for making metal parts," said Cormier. It came to RIT in June and the group plans on exploring with aluminum, steel, and even titanium. "There are very strong and lightweight metals that cannot be processed other ways."

    Some practical applications can be found in aerospace engineering. "You can make really really lightweight parts that helps aerospace with fuel reductions and CO2 emissions," said Cormier.  

    In the example at RIT, an aluminum spool is fed through a yellow tube and eventually heated up to over a thousand degrees and printed out. Liquid metal is shot out at 400 drops per second, layer by layer, and has pushed students' understanding of 3D printing.

    "This takes us one step ahead," said PhD engineering student Khushbu Zope. She was one of the first to get hands on with the new machine and says it has been difficult to work from scratch. "It was challenging, because it's not written anywhere. We have to learn it by experience, and we have to keep watching every step to capture every single detail to understand it more precisely."

    This technology has made a process that can take weeks and put it into one that can take hours, even minutes. Other applications for this project could benefit bioengineering, or metal bone implants that might eventually be printed to a body's exact specifications.

    Razor
    Jun 21, 2017

    Best Student Use of Autodesk Fusion 360: S(h)aving the World Personal Razor by RIT Engineers for a Sustainable World - Rochester, NY.

     

    Best Student Use of Autodesk Fusion 360: S(h)aving the World Personal Razor by RIT Engineers for a Sustainable World - Rochester, NY.

    According to the EPA, close to two billion razors end up in landfills each year, largely due to the difficulty and danger associated with recycling the small stainless steel blades. In addition, disposable razors waste an incredible amount of water during consumer use. Led by Daniel Rouleau and Morgan Mistysyn, Industrial and Systems Engineering students. And members of (RIT) Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) used Cradle to Cradle product design principles to create a 100% recyclable razor that performs at the same standards as non-recyclable counterparts and requires less water during use. The team demonstrated adept use of Autodesk Fusion 360’s direct and parametric modeling, shape optimization capabilities, which enabled the 9-person team to collaborate on multiple parts simultaneously to design for disassembly, minimize material waste, and maximize overall efficiency.

    Jan 19, 2017
    Learning Opportunity at Raymond Coporation

    Senior Lecturer John Kaemmerlen, 3 IE graduate students, a 3rd year IE student who is finishing his co-op there this week, and Sarah Bonzo visited Raymond Corporation in early January 2017. The problem they addressed was the Toyota design calls for more welding than the Raymond design, which creates a workload balance problem when the Toyota trucks flow through.

    There is also a workstation that is the bottleneck for both types of trucks. Therefore, they did a classic process study, developed Yamazumi charts, made process improvement suggestions, etc. The four RIT students represented themselves and RIT fabulously. Client feedback was very positive.

    Jun 22, 2016
    Congrats to IIE at RIT

    The RIT student chapter of IIE (Institute of Industrial Engineers) wo a Silver Award from the National organization for 2015-16. The award is given the chapters many accomplishments including community service, robust activities, member participation, etc.

  • May 11, 2016
    Dr. Denis Cormier Recieves Trustees Scholarship Awarad

    The Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT) at Alfred University has named six new members to its industry advisory board. One of the new members is Dr. Denis Cormier, the Earl W. Brinkman Professor of industrial and systems engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the director of the Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing (AMPrint) Center at RIT.

    Cormier has worked in the area of additive manufacturing for 20 years with a specific focus on aerospace materials and applications of metal additive manufacturing. Most recently, his research has focused on multi-material functional printing processes and materials. Read more here. Dr. Cormier is also the recipient of the Trustees Scholarship Award this year.

    Jun 6, 2014

    What teacher has not heard students challenge, “Why do I need math? Why am I learning this? I’m never going to use it.”

    To help teachers answer these questions, an engineering team from Rochester Institute of Technology developed the REMS Program—Relevant Education in Math and Science—a series of online STEM activities that can provide a way to associate math and science with solving engineering problems.

    Designed for elementary, middle and high school students, the program is built around three real-world scenarios: preserving competitive manufacturing, developing and delivering efficient health care services and distributing products and services across the world. The online activities consist of overview videos, teacher lesson plans, student worksheets and several process simulations. The team is finalizing testing and the full set of activities can be reviewed online.

    “We wanted to pick activities that would be fun and engaging for the kids. Each one is then adapted for different grade levels, and each of the lesson plans is adapted to serve the needs of those students, asking different questions and getting different outcomes based on their knowledge,” said Jacquie Mozrall, principal investigator for the project.

    One of the activities for example, a skateboard assembly, uses simple math to demonstrate “cycle time”—the time it takes to assemble a product with individual team members at different workstations providing parts. Timing the activity and adjusting tasks allows students to use concepts such as calculating averages, modeling and using percentages, said Tina Bonfiglio, REMS K-12 educator, consultant and outreach liaison.

    “There are lots of efforts out there to introduce students to ‘what is engineering?’ One of our goals is making the linkage between what the students are doing in middle school and high school math and science classes to how you have to actually use these skills to solve engineering problems,” she said.

    Other activities include modules on ergonomic design, meal picking and assembly, and household container recycling.

    In 2010, the REMS team received a grant from the Toyota USA Foundation to develop the activities and to provide teachers with additional math and science resources. All of the modules have been evaluated by area students and educators early in the development process, and tested in the engineering college’s Toyota Production Systems Laboratory, a multipurpose facility for teaching and research. The lab features a reconfigurable production line and distribution facility. It is widely used for undergraduate and graduate courses in the engineering college and is also used to support outreach activities conducted by the college’s Women in Engineering Program.

    Members of the REMS team are Mozrall; Bonfiglio; industrial and systems engineering faculty John Kaemmerlen, Matthew Marshall and Michael Kuhl; and Jodi Carville, director, Women in Engineering. Students from the college’s industrial and systems engineering department also assisted in presenting and testing the online and onsite programming. Over the next month the team will complete testing on the final modules. The entire package will be available by the end of August.

    “These have been designed with educators’ input,” Mozrall added. “There is a push to add more STEM activities in classrooms, and this effort provides a ready-made package that educators, community leaders and organizations can go online and use, wherever they happen to be.”

    More information about the program can be found on the program’s website.

    Jun 1, 2014

    According to enthusiasts, 3-D printing was supposed to rewrite the rules of how things get built. Forget building new factories, or outsourcing production to China. The compact devices would launch a manufacturing renaissance centered in people's living rooms and garages.

    It may yet do all that. But for now, here's the reality: The technology works very well in some settings—but it doesn't scale very well. Product designers and manufacturers say that 3-D printing beats traditional methods for jobs involving complex designs or limited production runs. But if companies need to crank out thousands of products in a short time, traditional methods are faster and more cost-effective.

    "If you need more than a few thousand" items, says Denis Cormier, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, "you're probably better off doing injection molding of a plastic part."

    Ramping Up

    The 3-D printing process works something like inkjet printing of paper documents: The machines build objects by spreading microscopic layers of plastic or metal that are fused by lasers or ultraviolet light. Designers can create a computer model of the part they need and have a physical version within minutes or hours.

    But it's not fast enough when companies need to produce on a mass scale. Thomas Lipoma and a group of classmates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were using 3-D printing technology to manufacture the Mimo, an infant's onesie with a built-in sensor that lets parents monitor the breathing of their newborns. Then Babies "R" Us ordered 7,000 pieces, and their MakerBot 3-D printer simply couldn't produce the items fast enough.

    "We did the entire concept through testing in about a month" using the 3-D printer, says Mr. Lipoma, but when production ramped up from 200 pieces a week to a planned 50,000 a month, "that's a lot to do for a MakerBot."

    So, their startup, Rest Devices, turned to traditional injection molding to make key plastic parts. "The parts come out of the injection molding once every 15 to 20 seconds, and with the MakerBot, it's once every 15 to 20 minutes," says Mr. Lipoma.

    Greg Pishko had a similar experience with 3-D printing when he created a floating drink holder, which he's trying to sell as an accessory for pool parties in Las Vegas.

    3-D printing helped Mr. Pishko, who designs health-care appliances for neurologists at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, quickly turn his concept into a prototype and get the attention of hotel chains. But he's going with injection molding to fill orders. It's faster, for one thing, and in this case it's also much cheaper because of the amount of raw material involved. 3-D printing would have cost about $100 per drink holder, compared with $2 for injection molding.

    Focusing on Strengths

    Some makers of 3-D printers don't argue with the critiques. Devices like MakerBot's are meant to help designers and engineers test ideas and speed the development of products, not necessarily replace large-scale manufacturing, says Jenifer Howard, a spokeswoman for the company, a subsidiary of Stratasys, one of the largest manufacturers of 3-D printers and systems.

    "When we look at the cost-value benefit" of 3-D printing, says Cathy Lewis, chief marketing officer of 3D Systems, another leading manufacturer of 3-D printers and systems, "we don't see it eliminating traditional manufacturing."

    The crossover point at which point traditional manufacturing is more effective usually comes at 5,000 pieces, Ms. Lewis says. So if a company is making a mass-appeal product with a huge production run, such as a Barbie doll, it would probably stick with injection molding.

    But a 3-D printer has other advantages, Ms. Lewis says. With injection molding, companies must create a different mold for every different part they want to produce. And if the specifications for a part change, they must come up with a new mold for it. With 3-D printing, there's no mold—just a computer model of the part that can be updated at any time.

    What's more, Ms. Lewis says, 3-D printing can easily handle complex designs and print an item with multiple parts all at once. With injection molding, parts often need to be manufactured separately and then assembled.

    Chris Milnes discovered the advantages of 3-D printing when he was deciding how to manufacture the Square Helper—a plastic clip the size of a quarter that holds a credit-card reader in place on an iPhone or iPad. Mr. Milnes traveled to China to see how cheaply he could have the clip made, but was put off by costs of $6,000 for the tooling to build an injection mold, and the 25 to 30 cents each unit would cost him.

    Instead, he turned to a MakerBot Replicator 2. "I bought a MakerBot for $2,000, and the plastic costs me 3 cents apiece," Mr. Milnes says. "There were no pros and cons, only pros and pros."

    Using a 3-D printer also makes it simple to adjust the part when Apple updates the iPhone. "I just change a line in my file, and I can print the new part," Mr. Milnes says. So far, he says, he has sold about 2,000 clips for $7.95 each.

    3-D printing is also becoming invaluable for military applications, says Ms. Lewis of 3D Systems. Military hardware can have a working life of 30 years or more, so it's far less expensive to 3-D print parts as needed than to keep the necessary tooling around for the entire life cycle of the item.

    For instance, workers assembling the $116 million F-35 jet fighter use hundreds of 3-D printed tools to assemble the plane, with numerous 3-D parts in development, said Mike Rein, a spokesman for the plane's maker, Lockheed Martin Corp.

    May 22, 2014

    Jacqueline Mozrall has been named interim dean of Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology.

    Mozrall, who currently serves as professor and senior associate dean of RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, will assume her new responsibilities on July 1.

    “Jacquie brings the right sense of values, experience and energy needed to lead the Saunders College through a leadership transition,” said RIT Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeremy Haefner. “She has demonstrated tremendous collaborative leadership, and her ability to engage businesses and industry in her work at the engineering college will be a terrific asset.”

    Haefner said a national search for a permanent dean of Saunders College will begin immediately.

    Mozrall is an RIT alumna, having received her Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from the university in 1987, and holds a place in RIT’s athletics Hall of Fame for an outstanding career in soccer. She received a master’s degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

    Since 2003, Mozrall has served as a member of the executive management team for the award-winning Women in Engineering at RIT, has been actively engaged as program evaluator and training mentor for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and is currently serving on the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC/ABET).

    “I am very appreciative to Provost Haefner for choosing me for this role, and I'm extremely excited for the opportunity to work with the outstanding students, faculty, staff and alumni of Saunders College,” Mozrall said. “I look forward to working in partnership with them to move ahead with the many great initiatives already underway at Saunders.”

    Mozrall, a resident of Pittsford, takes the helm from dt ogilvie, who steps down as dean on June 30 to take on a new title as RIT’s Distinguished Professor of Urban Entrepreneurship and chair of the advisory board for RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship.

    Note: Saunders College of Business is one of nine colleges at Rochester Institute of Technology and accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Enrolling more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Saunders College works in partnership with RIT’s entrepreneurial Venture Creations incubator and the Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship to integrate business education with RIT’s world-leading technical and creative programs. Saunders College offers seven undergraduate, three MS, two Executive MBA, and five MBA programs where students gain real-world business experiences in the classroom and through co-ops.

  • May 12, 2014

    Valeria Gonzalez, an undergraduate engineering student, was part of a research team at Rochester institute of Technology that found cement and concrete strength could be improved by more than 50 percent of traditional use by incorporating industrial waste, specifically alkali-activated slag from blast furnaces.

    Her project work was recognized at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers annual conference this past winter, and her research, “Factors affecting the setting time and compressive strength of alkali-activated ground granulated blast furnace slag reinforced with Wollastonite,” was awarded the best undergraduate research paper.

    Gonzalez’s work helped to confirm the durability of high performance concrete. The inclusion of alkali-activated slag, waste by-product, has the potential to improve the materials strength of concrete used for high temperature barriers and aerospace applications. Alkali-activated materials are also considered sustainable because of their limited release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

    “From the beginning I was very interested in this project. I had the opportunity to use skills I learned in industrial engineering and sustainable engineering. It was a perfect fit,” said Gonzalez, a fifth-year dual degree industrial and systems engineering student in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. She worked closely with Benjamin Varela, professor of mechanical engineering, on his research team for the past two years. Varela has been instrumental in the development of alternative materials solutions for high performance concrete and cement.

    “We have been trying to create ‘green’ cements and through some of Valeria’s work we have a formula which is three times stronger that normal cement,” Varela said.

    Alkali activation, the chemical reaction of two aggregate materials, produces a paste that can be hardened at a lower temperature. This alternative to traditional cement is an emerging technology with the potential to develop high performance, cement-less construction materials, said Gonzalez. The RIT researchers described the use of blast furnace slag, mixed with a potassium-based solution and further, with the mineral Wollastonite, resulted in the strength of the mixture increasing by 53 percent over traditional concrete strength measurements.

    The United States uses approximately 260 million cubic yards of ready-mixed concrete each year for structures such as highways, airport facilities and runways, buildings and bridges, according to the Portland Cement Association. The national industry organization supports research for improvements to cement and concrete, particularly in the areas of sustainability and increased durability as well as cost-effectiveness alternatives to asphalt.

    The research into further developing this material will continue. Gonzalez had her findings published this past March by the International Journal of Innovative Technology and Exploring Engineering. After graduation in May, she will present findings at its international conference in the Czech Republic later this summer.

    “It makes me proud that we are one of the few from the U.S. who had papers accepted for this conference,” said Gonzalez. “It is a great opportunity to get international experience and I enjoy sharing this information about what we have learned so far.”

    Feb 13, 2014

    For the second year in a row, undergraduate engineering students from Rochester Institute of Technology took top honors in the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education student design competition. Four industrial and systems engineering students in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering shared the $2,000 grand prize and travel funds to the organization’s annual conference and trade show in Atlanta in March.

    Student teams were given a case study, and over five weeks during the semester, they had to redesign the processing system for a large sporting goods facility, targeting distribution of a new product for the company and enlarging space at the distribution center. The best plan from the class was submitted for the national competition.

    The case study objectives were typical of the responsibilities they might have to assess in the workplace, said Margaret Bates, a third-year student on the winning team.

    “For this particular project, especially, the different layers and levels of the project were far larger than any I had ever worked on in my college career,” said Bates, a Webster, N.Y., resident. “What did help us on the project is that all four of us have a lot of different strengths. Had we been a different group, or had a different make up, I don’t know if we would have been as successful.”

    Bates and teammates Jessica Jeffrey, Alexandra Woodward and Justine Nichols drew upon strengths in organizational management, data analysis and experience understanding concepts of utilization and process-flow to complete the lengthy project objectives.

    Components of the project included developing a plan that would help the company increase its core business as well as adapt its physical structure and processes to accommodate the growth. The team had to assess the current state of the operation and build a “real world” plan to expand, including equipment needs, cost estimates and resource allocations. A management presentation was also required, and it included cost justifications.

    “Everyone wants to see the numbers,” said Nichols, laughing. Nichols is originally from Potsdam, N.Y. Woodward grew up in Chester Springs, Pa., and Jeffrey is from Marlborough, N.Y.

    “The big part of this project was taking the information and analyzing it, then using what we had learned in class or common sense to make educated assumptions, then move forward based on that information,” said Bates. “You had to wrap your head around a lot of different pockets of information.”

    RIT industrial and systems engineering student teams have been successful in past competitions, taking first place last year and top-five placements over the past five years.

    “To win this competition in back-to-back years shows our commitment to practical application of industrial engineering methodologies. The students handled themselves very well,” said Scott Grasman, industrial and systems engineering department head.

    This year’s competition had more entries than previous years, with 16 universities represented, and judged by industry professionals and academic representatives. The College Industry Council on Material Handling Education and the Order Fulfillment Solutions Council sponsored the competition, and corporate partner TranSystem provided the competition case based on an actual industry project.

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