The research activities in the area of Micro-Manufacture Engineering cover both scientific and technological aspects related both to capabilities of a set of micro-manufacture and relevant key enabling technologies (such as µ-EDM, µ-injection moulding, µ-machining, µ-laser sintering, µ-scale surface and geometrical metrology) and to the development of innovative process chains for the manufacturing of micro and precision mechanical systems.
In the above technological domains the research is carried out with complementary and synergistic competences. Main current research lines cover:
domain of micro material-removal processes
- micro-machinability of biomedical alloys produced by AM technologies;
- optimization of machining-based process chains to enhance performances and service life of biomedical components;
- development and optimization of an automated procedure for the on-machine assessment of material removal and tool wear per discharge in micro-EDM;
- simulation of a micro-EDM milling process;
- tool wear compensation based on discharge counting and tool wear per discharge in micro-EDM;
domain of micro additive manufacturing
- fabrication of multi-material (gradient) micro-parts;
- influence of process parameters on part accuracy in the direct-laser-sintering process;
- advanced monitoring and control strategies of the direct-laser-sintering process;
- fabrication of 3D micro- and nano-scaffolds;
- design and fabrication of 3D micro- and nano-fluidics and elements for lab-on-a-chip systems;
domain of micro forming and replication technologies
- micro injection moulding process capabilities in manufacturing micro-and nanostructured polymer surfaces;
- injection-compression moulding process for the replication of high aspect ratio micro-structured surfaces;
- innovative micro tooling materials for micro injection moulding;
domain of micro-scale surface and geometrical metrology
- traceability of dimensional measurements for micro manufacturing;
- accuracy verification and enhancement of innovative measuring systems;
- metrology tools for optimization of micro-manufacturing processes;
- innovative methods for micro-structured and freeform surfaces metrology;
- traceable surface characterization at nanoscale.
5 axis micro machining center
Machine characteristics: X, Y, Z - Hydrostatic bearing. Range 300, 300, 250 mm. Absolute positional accuracy ± 0.25 µm. Speed 1÷6’000mm/min. C, A - Mechanical bearing. Range 360° endless, ±110°. 0÷36’000°/min. Positional accuracy ±0.01µm. Precise HF-60M Mechanical bearing - 10’000 ÷ 60’000 rpm. Precise HF-180A Aerostatic bear. - 20’000 ÷ 180’000 rpm. Kugler DKS-100 Fly cutting - 0 ÷ 4’000 rpm
Micro EDM Drilling, Sinking & 3D Milling high precision and high capacity machine.
Micro edm drilling, sinking & 3D milling in one machine. High productivity concept including C axis indexing spindle. Auto electrode re-feeding spindle. Micro hole capability possible down to 20 micron diameter. High pressure flushing unit 70 bars for efficient small hole drilling. Surface finish capability, Ra 0.1 for improved quality.
Machine characteristics: Work table size: 700 x 300 mm, Travel X, Y, Z axes: 350, 200, 200 mm, Precision of positioning: ±2 µm, Resolution: 0.1 µm, Dielectric: deionised water or oil.
Metrological X-ray Computed Tomography system (CT)
- X-ray source: 225kV / 225W
- X-ray spot: 3 μm micro-focus
- Detector: 16 bit, 2000x2000 pixel
- Temperature controlled enclosure
- Magnification: 1.6x to 150x
- Max sample size: D = 250 mm, h = 450 mm
3D optical profilometer
The profilometer allows the topological surface analysis thanks to the possibility to obtain fast, non-invasive measurements of micro and nano-geometries surfaces in multiple configurations. This tool uses a black and white, high speed, high resolution CCD camera as the system metrological detector, and a colour camera for bright field surface inspection that can be used to create 3D views of the measurements.
Machine characteristics: Step Height Repeatability 0.1%, Roughness Repeatability < 0.2% and Step Height Accuracy about 0.5%. Objectives: 2,5x - 5x - 20x - 100x, motorized table and dampener.
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
The Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) allows the determination the chemical composition and structure of the materials, through high energy electron beam in a vacuum. The beam-specimen interaction generates various signals that are acquired by appropriate detectors and subsequently processed to form an image. Magnification range from 6 up to 100'000x.
Accessories: Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDS), Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM), Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD), heating chamber, up to 1500°C, for analyses at high temperature.
Visiting associate professor
Technical University of Denmark
Visiting research associate
University of Ljubljana
Visiting post-doc researcher
University of Ljubljana