Clean Method for Dispensing and Transporting Powder for Laser Sintering Process

Photo of Taylor D'Annunzio, Danul De Leon, Alexis Fernandez Students: Taylor D'Annunzio, Danul De Leon, Alexis Fernandez

Sponsor: Harvest Technologies

Date: Spring 2011

Requirements:
The two most important design requirements are to reduce the amount of powder that escapes during the loading process and to reduce the amount of time it takes to load one machine. Also, the design must integrate easily into the sponsor's current facility while minimizing complexity. In order to accomplish this, many size constraints were followed.

Problem:
Loading selective laser sintering (SLS) machines disperses large amounts of the powder, wasting material and requiring cleaning after each load. Harvest tasked the team with reducing the airborne powder that occurs while transporting and loading SLS machines.

Solution:
The project focused on the design of a cap that covers the cartridge of the SLS machine. Two cap designs were modeled in SolidWorks and built by the sponsor using Stereolithography. The design of the cap includes a method to attach the cap to the sponsor's current storage buckets using off-the-shelf parts, allowing the powder to feed into the cartridge by gravity. Additionally, the team designed a mounting system for the bucket to rest on during loading and estimated the cost of obtaining a pneumatic system for larger scale production.

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