The Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) and Robotics Laboratory is the nucleus of technological advancement and innovation in the Department of Engineering at St. Mary’s. Renovated in 2013 to accommodate broader experimentation, the research done here involves high-precision engineering and manufacturing — from electronics and computer software to mechanics and optics.
Dimension Elite 3-D Printer
The facility houses a wide selection of state-of-the-art tools and machines, including a Dimension Elite 3-D printer. Arguably one of the most breakthrough inventions in recent years, 3-D printers can print a solid object of virtually any shape and size. In the past, student and faculty research projects were frequently delayed for lengthy periods of time when special parts needed to be ordered. Thanks to the 3-D printer, they are now able to print precisely what they need in a matter of hours.
The recent acquisition of a FARO Edge laser measurement arm has expedited 3-D printing at St. Mary’s. A scan of an objecting using the arm renders a digital 3-D likeness of the object which can be modified using CAM software to meet and special requirement. The image is then exported to the printer, where tiny droplets of a highly durable melted polymer compound accumulate layer by layer according to the dimensions specified by the image, until a fully formed object is produced.
The latest automation technology is explored using FANUC industrial robots. Built by the world’s leading robot manufacturer, FANUC robots are revolutionizing manufacturing and industry. They also serve as an essential educational tool.
Students gain valuable experience in robotics by using software to set up applications, write programs, and then test them on the FANUC.
Other notable features
- Hexagon CMM
- FESTO mechatronics
- Comprehensively integrated computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing and computer-aided engineering software such as Solidworks and MasterCam X7