New funds supporting next generation of manufacturing devices

UAlberta mechanical engineering professor Ahmed Quereshi, with additive manufacturing devices, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

(Edmonton) A University of Alberta mechanical engineering professor has been awarded funding for equipment that will bring students and researchers a valuable new tool for manufacturing and prototyping.

Ahmed Qureshi has been awarded $66,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to help purchase additive manufacturing equipment.

 

 

Additive manufacturing describes a suite of manufacturing tools and processes that build objects by adding materials. Whereas tools such as lathes help us build objects by removing materials, additive manufacturing builds objects bit by bit, using computer aided design.

The most common type of additive manufacturing equipment is the 3D printer but there are in fact different types of devices and processes for additive manufacturing. Some involve the use of lasers and liquid polymers (vat photo polymerization) while others use lasers and powdered forms of metal (Selective laser sintering and melting).

“In additive manufacturing you’re starting with nothing—you had a computer design and you divide the design into hundreds and thousands or tens of thousands of small slices and these devices take raw material and lay it down one slice at a time,” he explained. “At the end of the day you have your object, and there is no waste.”

The equipment Qureshi is interested in brings new technology to the U of A.

“The device we’ are procuring is an additive manufacturing system that allows us to print out parts in metal—it will be the first one here at the U of A.”

Qureshi is one of two U of A researchers awarded CFI funding announced Aug. 15. Kyle Mathewson, a neuroscientist and professor in the Faculty of Science’s Department of Psychology, has been awarded funding for a state-of-the-art optical imaging system.