Rapid Prototyping Capabilities Expand

Over the holiday break, MSID student John Pickard has been spending a great deal of time in the Rapid Prototyping Lab exploring the capabilities of the department’s CNC machine.

Trevor Walsh and John Pickard calibrate the rapid prototying machine.

The CNC is most often used to cut wood and wood-based materials, but John is taking a detailed look at what it can do with metals. He’s begun by using brass, a metal that can be cut without lubricant. “Cutting wood is pretty straightforward, however brass is requiring good amount of refinement to get the right speeds for the bit – much slower RPM rates are needed.”

After compiling the optimum settings for brass, John will begin working with aluminum next. During the spring semester, he’ll continue to refine these techniques and compile them into a quick reference resource for future student Rapid Prototyping operators.

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