Additive Manufacturing Prototypes and Design Simulations Showcased at Two ASME Conferences

By Roger Torda

ASME Public Information

 “We did some testing from idle up to 3,500 RPM on Josh’s truck,” explained Morgan Thomas. Morgan, Nicholas Heiman and Joshua Hieb are agricultural engineering students at South Dakota State University. What they were testing on Hieb’s 2005 Chevrolet Silverado was a 3D printed muffler made with a heat-resistant plastic. “We tested temperature and sound levels, and the muffler handled it fine. So then we decided to take it out on the road, and test it until it failed.”

The students were among 30 teams participating in the ASME Innovative Additive Manufacturing 3D Challenge (IAM3D) and the Society’s Innovative Design Simulation Challenge (IDSC) held Aug. 2, in Boston.

A team from Texas Tech University won the IAM3D Best Overall Design Award for a low-temperature desalinator. Shaun Foreman and Taylor Cychowski presented two prototypes: a small version for hikers and campers and a larger model that could supply drinking water for a family of four.


Nikola Tepavac, Scott Hill and Chas Davies (left to right) present the compliant prosthetic hand at IAM3D, which was held Aug. 2, in Boston

The IAM3D Best Innovative Design Award went to Scott Hill and Chas Davies of Tennessee Technological University, and Nikola Tepavac of the University of Novi Sao, in Serbia, for a one-piece, “compliant” prosthetic hand. The team tested three different joint designs and built prototypes with two different plastics.  Tepavac, participating in the design process via Skype, is working on electronic controls.   

The winner for Best Re-engineered / Collaborative Production was a team from Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada, for an “Audible Hockey Puck.” Ryan Vierira and Kristoffer Pascual worked with a group of visually impaired hockey players, and designed a device that emits electronic sounds. Vierira explained that currently-available products produce sound only when the puck is moving, as metal parts rattle around inside. Durability is a big challenge in the fast-moving, stick-slapping world of hockey. The first two Sheridan prototypes were brittle, and quickly shattered in play. The current version is tougher and more water-proof.

Jeffrey Paquette, of Stratasy, Inc., one of the competition’s judges, praised the Sheridan team for its re-design process, calling the puck “a fully iterative product.”   

A team from Temple University was honored for Best Verbal Presentation for designing wind turbine blades. Alexander Benvenuto, Sarah McLeod and Joseph Fossity sought efficiency and low noise in a small system that could be used in urban areas.  Their final design combined two proven features:  leading edge tubercles, similar to those found on whale fins, and trailing-edge serrations.

Soumay Gupta and Ramanjeet Singh from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee won the Best Freshman Design Award for a system to generate electricity as vehicles pass over speed bumps.  The team, which presented from India via Skype, used 3D printing to create a piston and cylinder that can be embedded in a roadway. Passing vehicles send compressed air into a tank, which drives a turbine and generator. The tank can collect air from several speed bumps -- at four-way intersections, for example.

IDSC Results   

In the Innovative Design Simulation Challenge, Yu-Han Cheng, Yen-Ting Wang and Han-Yu Lee from National Taiwan University won a Best Overall Simulation award in the “commercial software” category for the design of a novel stent for the treatment of peripheral artery disease. The team developed computer models to evaluate the mechanical integrity and fatigue resistance to various loading conditions, including expansions and annealing during manufacture, crimping inside a catheter and  release into a blood vessel.  Simulations showed significantly improved reliability.  Judges of the competition encouraged the team to seek a patent. 

Sharanga Bora of NIT Silchar, India, won the same honor for his innovation, “Application of Coanda Effect in a CPU Heat Sink Fan.” Bora modeled airflow over airfoils placed on a heat sink. He tested three airfoil cross sections, and simulations showed the best design led to 15°C reduction in heat compared to a conventional fan/heatsink system.  The Coanda effect, named after aerodynamics pioneer Henri Coandă, refers to the tendency of a fluid to follow a curved surface.   

The Best Utility / Impact Award for commercial software went to Jonathan Lewis Adán Pacheco Alcocer, Eduardo Daniel Aguilar Arvea and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez from Universidad Auto´noma del Carmen, Mexico, for demonstrating an increase in the efficiency of a solar cook stove with the use of “constructal” design for a heatsink.  Constructal design uses patterns found in nature, such as the branching of rivers.   

Sohail Reddy of Florida International University won the Best Overall Simulation Award using both commercial and custom software, for analyzing micro-pin fins used to cool electronic chips. He compared cooling performance for circular pins, airfoil-shaped pins and pins with symmetric convex cross-sections. Reddy’s analyses demonstrated improved performance with the airfoil and convex cross section designs.


Pin-Yi Chen of Taiwan National University presented her "iLatte" project at IDSC

Rohit Solanki, Jeet Trivedi and Harsh Pandya from B.H. Gardi College of Engineering and Technology in Rajkot, India, won an award for Best Utility or Impact, for an analysis of a mechanism for vehicles based on the gate of an animal. The team studied the work of a Dutch artist, Theo Jansen, who uses mechanical “legs” in kinetic sculptures. The students believe such a vehicle could achieve energy reduction and move effectively across rugged terrain.

In the custom software category, Pin-Yi Chen of Taiwan National University was recognized for Best Overall Simulation for a project inspired by a trip to the coffee shop. Chen designed her “iLatte” project to gather data as a barista makes intricate designs while pouring steamed milk and strong coffee.  Chen modeled a latte-pouring robot and created a system that would teach people how to make similar designs.


IDSC in the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, was well attended.

The South Dakota team reported that its muffler broke and melted at 50 miles per hour. They were loud and clear, however, about the value of the experience.  “It was a great opportunity,” Thomas said. “At the beginning of this, I knew hardly anything about 3D printing. But we did everything in this process. Testing. Redesign. Documentation. Writing papers. We made presentations.  We learned what it means to be an engineer.”