Project Background

Today’s industries require mass production of large scale products in a time efficient manner. Most companies rely on subtractive manufacturing techniques. The disadvantages of the CNC mills and routers are (1) high initial cost, (2) amount of attention needed (3) significant amount of waste. The recent introduction of additive manufacturing allows for creation of more aesthetically pleasing products while reducing waste. Despite its benefits, the additive process has a major disadvantage of increased production time.

In 2017 Eric Flynn, a program director at Gateway Community College, has commissioned the Modular Manufacturing team to build a machine that will produce large scale builds for industry, using a combination of additive and subtractive manufacturing. In the first stage of the project the students were able to research the workings of CNC machinery and construct an initial prototype. The goal of the second stage is to utilize different controlling systems to direct a basic CNC machine perform a simple task as a necessary milestone towards further development of the final prototype.

At the same time, the team will keep track of the competitive products and expenses incurred to accurately estimate the market share and the cost of production of the modular system. The subsequent stages of project development would include both evolving of the design to multiple degrees of freedom and incorporating tool heads utilized in both additive and subtractive manufacturing culminating in a fully automated robotic system.