College of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Peter J. Schuster
This report presents the final design review of this senior project team. The project is being sponsored by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a federal design agency. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is interested in improving their metal additive manufacturing process. The goal of this senior project is to improve the efficiency and safety of a method currently being used to remove metal powders for additively manufactured components. A senior project team in 2017-2018 created the Vibration Induced Powder Evacuator and Reclaimer (VIPER), a device that uses a vibration motor to shake a printed part until it is clean from excess powder. VIPER, however, does not have a system to contain the removed powder. The focus of this project team was to improve VIPER’s design by adding a way to isolate loose powder from the user and implement an automated system to improve the process efficiency. The final design incorporates an enclosure around the VIPER to isolate powder, an improved mounting system to secure the printed part, and a PLC system that drive motors to allow for automatic reorientation of the part. Testing of the final prototype demonstrated that the VIPER was able to remove the majority of powder from printed parts, though powder removal was much more effective when the user would intermittently stop the cycle and tap the part using a mallet. The following document summarizes the background research conducted, design and analysis process, final design direction, manufacturing, assembly, testing procedures and results, lessons learned, and future recommendations.