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  1. Industrial robots, as mature and high-efficient equipment, have been applied to various fields, such as vehicle manufacturing, product packaging, painting, welding, and medical surgery. Most industrial robots are only operating in their own workspace, in other words, they are floor-mounted at the fixed locations. Just some industrial robots are wall-mounted on one linear rail based on the applications. Sometimes, industrial robots are ceiling-mounted on an X-Y gantry to perform upside-down manipulation tasks. The main objective of this paper is to describe the NeXus, a custom robotic system that has been designed for precision microsystem integration tasks with such a gantry.more »The system tasks include assembly, bonding, and 3D printing of sensor arrays, solar cells, and microrobotic prototypes. The NeXus consists of a custom designed frame, providing structural rigidity, a large overhead X-Y gantry carrying a 6 degrees of freedom industrial robot, and several other precision positioners and processes. We focus here on the design and precision evaluation of the overhead ceiling-mounted industrial robot of NeXus and its supporting frame. We first simulated the behavior of the frame using Finite Element Analysis (FEA), then experimentally evaluated the pose repeatability of the robot end-effector using three different types of sensors. Results verify that the performance objectives of the design are achieved.« less
  2. Selective laser melting (SLM) is one of the most widely used additive manufacturing technologies. Fabricating nickel-based superalloys with SLM has garnered significant interest from the industry and the research community alike due to the excellent high temperature properties and thermal stability exhibited by the alloys. Haynes-282 alloy, a γ′-phase strengthened Ni-based superalloy, has shown good high temperature mechanical properties comparable to alloys like R-41, Waspaloy, and 263 alloy but with better fabricability. A study and comparison of the effect of different heat-treatment routes on microstructure and mechanical property evolution of Haynes-282 fabricated with SLM is lacking in the literature. Hence,more »in this manuscript, a thorough investigation of microstructure and mechanical properties after a three-step heat treatment and hot isostatic pressing (HIP) has been conducted. In-situ heat-treatment experiments were conducted in a transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to study γ′ precipitate evolution. γ′ precipitation was found to start at 950 °C during in-situ heat-treatment. Insights from the in-situ heat-treatment were used to decide the aging heat-treatment for the alloy. The three-step heat-treatment was found to increase yield strength (YS) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS). HIP process enabled γ′ precipitation and recrystallization of grains of the as-printed samples in one single step.« less
  3. One of the fundamental issues in the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) additive manufacturing process lies in the mechanical property anisotropy where the strength of the FFF-3D printed part in the build-direction can be significantly lower than that in other directions. The physical phenomenon that governs this issue is the coupled effect of macroscopic thermal mechanical issues associated with the thermal history of the interface, and the microscopic effect of the polymer microstructure and mass transfer across interfaces. In this study it was found that the use of 34.4 kHz ultrasonic vibrations during FFF-3D printing results in an increase of upmore »to 10% in the interlayer adhesion in Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), comparing the printing in identical thermal conditions to that in conventional FFF printing. This increase in the interlayer adhesion strength is attributed to the increase in polymer reptation due to ultrasonic vibration-induced relaxation of the polymer chains from secondary interactions in the interface regions.« less