On March 20th 2019, after more than two year’s collaborative efforts with Dr. Wenchao Zhou, an Assistant Professor from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the UA and the startup company AMBOTS, we made the world-first cooperatively 3D-printed part. It is the first time that multiple independent 3D printers work together to print a part with a size way bigger than the printer itself. This achievement is realized through our Swarm Printing concept and the cooperative 3D printing (C3DP) platform. The workpiece (a beehive structural beam) shown in the picture is approximately 840×70×20 mm in L×W×H. The workpiece in this size would be impossibly printed by any existing commercial desktop 3D printers. The C3DP platform is backed by several research methods and technologies developed by the team, including 3D printing robotics, chunk-based slicer, chunk bond strength testing, and automatic scheduling and path planning for chunk-based C3DP. Our vision is to establish an Autonomous Digital Additive Manufacturing (ADAM) system of the future. On March 21st, we demonstrated our research and technologies to the R&D group of ArcBest. See media coverage on our project here.
Our research on cooperative 3D printing, especially our recent efforts on developing a new computational framework for automatically generating scheduling strategies of coordinating a swarm of printing robots was recently highlighted by Research Frontiers at the University of Arkansas. This project is collaborated with Dr. Wenchao Zhou from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the UA and the startup company AMBOTS. Please see SiDi Publication and our previous post for details. The work has been also highlighted in several mainstream media of 3D printing industry, such as 3dprint.com, 3dprintingindustry.com, and all3dp. It was also recently listed as one of the five coolest things on the earth in the fourth week of May by GE reports.
SiDi Lab recently received a seed grant for initiating an industrial collaboration with Ford Motor Company. This grant is awarded by the Office of Research & Innovation at the University of Arkansas. We will collaborate with Ford Global Data, Insight & Analytics (GDIA) to establish a novel approach to modeling customer choice behaviors in electric vehicle (EV) market based on network theory. Particularly, we will investigate how well the network model performs in predicting customers’ choices in EV market as compared to existing choice modeling techniques, such as the Discrete Choice Model.
The undergrad senior, Khoinguyen Trinh, was awarded an Honors College Research Grant for the Spring term. Khoi will use this grant to support his study on developing a new approach to engineering and designing artificial swarm systems with desired characteristics and performance based on the theory of network motifs.
Our paper titled “Modeling Participation Behaviors in Design Crowdsourcing Using A Bipartite Network-Based Approach” is accepted by The ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering on January 2nd.
Congratulations to senior mechanical engineering student, Colin Corcoran, for being selected as the recipient of the Student Integrated Intern Research Experience (SIIRE) Scholarship. This scholarship is sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and is designed to support students who are interested in pursuing research in academia and allows for students to spend more of their time working towards a research related goal.
Corcoran said, “I am honored to receive the National Science Foundation Student Integrated Intern Research Experience scholarship because it validates the work and progress of my research project. I have been working on the project for the past six months under the guidance of Dr. Sha and receiving the scholarship verifies not only that Dr. Sha values my work but also other professors around campus also value the time and effort I have put in to the project.”
Colin has been working in SiDi lab, as a research assistant, on the project related to better understanding the spatial heterogeneity of customer preferences and behaviors in community-based digital manufacturing systems, such as the 3Dhubs.com.
The PhD student Laxmi Poudel attended The ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, held in Quebec City, Canada from August 26-29. He received the ASME CIE Graduate Student Poster Travel Award to participate this venue and presented his preliminary studies on Autonomous and Cooperative Digital Manufacturing.