College of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Metal powder-bed fusion is an additive manufacturing process which enables the creation of unique shapes in metal parts that would otherwise be difficult, expensive, or impossible to machine. Metallic powder is melted and fused together by either a laser or electron beam to produce parts quickly. The excess powder covers newly printed parts and can be difficult to remove from small internal features. The scope of this project is to design a device that effectively removes the powder from newly printed parts safely, while reclaiming as much powder as possible for reuse. The solution for this project must be able to remove powder safely, accommodate the properties of different parts, and reclaim most of the powder removed. The chosen design solution is a device that would suspend and vibrate the part to remove powder. There are two axes of rotation of this system, allowing the part to be rotated to any optimal orientation to remove powder from the internal cavities of the part. A vibration motor housed in the device will shake the part, loosening the powder and sifting it down to the drain holes and ultimately out of the part. This design is called the Vibration Induced Powder Evacuator and Reclaimer(VIPER).Since the system has been constructed, tests have started to be done to determine the effectiveness of the removal method and the orientation method.As of June 2018, the bulk of testing still needs to be performed to quantify the effectiveness of vibration as a primary removal technique. This document captures the results of the design process, including background research and benchmarking, the project’s scope, requirements, comparative analysis of potential designs, the iterative design solutions, cost analysis, potential risks with the design solution, manufacturing/assembly plans, completed design verification, future testing plans,lessons learned, and the recommended next steps for the project.