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  Building Big: Large-Scale Prototyping with Industrial Robotic Arms

   Department of Mechanical Engineering

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  Dr Runan Zhang  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This project embarks on a pathbreaking approach to additive manufacturing, focusing on the production of large-scale prototypes using industrial serial robotic arms. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has transformed numerous industries by enabling rapid prototyping, customization, and the creation of intricate geometries. However, the production of large prototypes with high precision remains a significant challenge.

Industrial serial robotic arms, with their flexibility and wide-ranging capabilities, offer a promising solution to this problem. Despite their widespread use in industrial applications requiring millimetre-level precision, the potential to harness these robotic arms for micrometre-level precision in large-scale additive manufacturing remains largely untapped.

The primary objective of this project is to develop mechanisms and techniques that enhance the precision of serial robotic arms, enabling them to effectively produce large prototypes in additive manufacturing. This involves the design and integration of high-precision end effectors on the robotic arms to ensure precise control during the 3D printing process.

A key challenge in this project is the development of control algorithms that govern the movements of the robotic arms and end effectors. These algorithms must ensure accurate, smooth adjustments in real-time during the manufacturing process, and must adapt to different materials and printing parameters to optimize the quality and precision of the final large-scale prototype.

The project will also involve systematic experimentation to study the impact of various printing parameters on the quality and precision of the printed prototypes. Analysis of these results will enhance our understanding of the relationship between these parameters and the resultant print quality.

This PhD project offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to the advancement of large-scale additive manufacturing technology. It involves the development of a novel robotic system, the creation of innovative control algorithms, and comprehensive study of additive manufacturing processes. This project represents a unique intersection of mechanical engineering, robotics, and materials science, offering a multifaceted and enriching research experience.

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

A variety of competitive funding opportunities are available, and self-funded student is acceptable.

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