Grad student wins NAMRI/SME best paper award
North American Manufacturing Research Institute and won the NAMRI/SME Outstanding Paper Award.
As first author, Correa investigated ways to manufacture and build machines that can be used in precision engineering and high-tech manufacturing. With his advisor, Tungchao Julia Lu Professor Placid Ferreira, and fellow graduate student Nick Toombs and undergraduate Joey Toombs, Correa demonstrated a strategy in which, instead of using the conventional method of building complicated 3D machines, they break them into layers that can be manufactured in 2D, laminated, then pop up into a final 3D shape.
They built a laminated Delta robot with prismatic actuation to exemplify the process of fabrication of a pop-up flexure-based mesoscale system that exploits the simplicity of 2D manufacturing techniques—such as sheet-metal operations and laser cutting—to realize a 3D mechanism.
“Manufacturing is changing in the U.S. and around the world, and many of the manufacturing technologies have migrated from proprietary to open source,” Correa said.
In addition to presenting his paper at the premier manufacturing research conference, Correa and Bruno Azaredo, also a PhD candidate in Ferreira’s group, attended talks on topics such as additive manufacturing, conventional and unconventional machining, machine tool advances, and automated assembly techniques for periodic structure and electronic materials.
“Being there reminded me of how fortunate I am to be at Illinois working in an amazing research group in topics that I feel really passionate about,” said Correa.
Ferreira said the award shows the high quality of work being done in his lab by students at all levels.
“It is very nice to see that a team of our students, graduate and undergraduate, can have their work recognized as some of the very best presented at this venue,” he said. “Jorge, Nick, and Joey are an outstanding team that blend analysis, design, and fabrication skills to produce outstanding results.”
Ferreira’s research team, the Nano-Micro Manufacturing group, develops novel scalable and non-lithographic processes that exploit chemical, mechanical, and electronic phenomena for manufacturing at the micro- and nanoscale. Using a manufacturing perspective, they address critical challenges in process development, tool design, metrology and heterogeneous integration. Their work has applications in the creation of MEMS and NEMS devices such as plasmonic nanoantennas, nano-positioning and manipulator systems, energy conversion and storage systems, and optical elements.
The NAMRI/SME conference focuses on advancing the scientific foundation of discrete-parts manufacturing. It was held in June this year in Blacksburg, Virginia.