Green Team: Marauder Eco-filament Project Under Way

The AEST department has been investigating uses for recycled, single-use plastics from around campus. In partnership with the Sustainability Club, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has worked to collect, clean, shred, and sort various plastics and implement them in new and useful ways. This has led to a variety of interesting and useful student-produced tooling and products such as keychains, frisbees, and flower pots. This academic year, an offshoot of the recycled plastics program began a new project centered around the idea creating 3D printing filament.

The project, named Marauder Eco-filament is a collaborative research project where AEST faculty and students work together to investigate and innovate on existing, open-source filament production systems. One of the goals of this project is to develop a working extrusion system that has the capability to use the shredded, recycled plastic and reliably create 3D print materials from it. To that end, AEST students Ashla Durbin and Alex Nikkanen have created two proof of concept systems, one that uses shredded materials and another that uses intact two-liter soda bottles to create filament. These systems have been produced and are being iterated upon by Ashla and Alex to optimize their designs for more consistent products and ease of construction.

Upon completion of the systems, the second phase of the project will begin. Dissemination is a key aspect of any project and as such the Marauder Eco-filament team will take a multifaceted approach to sharing the work. One dissemination strategy is sharing through the academic community. Our team aims to presenting our work at Made in Millersville as well as producing several academic articles designed to suit the 3D printing and education communities. Additionally, plans for the systems will be drafted and shared with the 3D printing community. The spirit of open-source sharing is a foundational component to this work and our initial designs were sourced in the 3D printing community. Given this, the Marauder Eco-filament team is committed to sharing our knowledge and findings with those who can best use and innovate on them as we have done.

We encourage folks to stop by the production area and learn more about our recycled plastics program, the Marauder Eco-filament project, and the wide variety of manufacturing-related labs and activities we offer in Osburn Hall. We would also like to thank our Ashla and Alex for their continued hard work, Dr. Dominick Manusos for his work with the recycled plastics program, and Millersville University for their support of this project.

By: Dr. Alex Johnson and Dr. Justin Egresitz

New Robotics WorX Program

The new Robotics WorX program at MU will advance the automation and manufacturing industry. 

Want to learn more about the robotics world? High school and college students interested in robotics now have the opportunity to gain experience in an internship thanks to a $75k grant awarded to Precision Cobotics, Inc. and Millersville University’s Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology department.

The grant, provided by the Lancaster STEM Alliance, provides support for the  Workforce Development & Career Exploration in Robotics Engineering (Robotics WorX) program – a partnership between Precision Cobotics and AEST. It will provide internships for students in local high schools and at Millersville.

Dr. John Haughery, assistant professor of Automation & Electric Technologies and the program coordinator of Automation & Robotics Engineering Technology at MU, explains what the program entails. “The Robotics WorX program brings together Lancaster area high school partners, workforce development agencies, the University and private industry partner of Precision Cobotics for an innovative internship/mentorship program for high school and university students. Precision Cobotics will work with and guide student interns towards proof-of-concept solutions that will be realized in a newly outfitted robotics Solutions Lab at Millersville University.”

Continue reading “New Robotics WorX Program”

Keeping People Warm for the Holidays

On December 1, Millersville University’s student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) successfully concluded its second annual winter clothing drive for families in need at the MU Ware Center in Lancaster City. The NSBE student chapter at MU collaborated with Millersville University Applied Engineering students, the American Society of Safety Professionals club, the Construction club, the Robotics club, the Lancaster STEM Alliance, the Bright Side Opportunity Center, the Young Women’s Christian Association, and the Lancaster Food Hub. This collective effort resulted in the collection of over 100 different coats, hats, and gloves, all of which were donated to the Lancaster Food Hub for distribution to individuals and families in the Lancaster area.

In addition to the clothing drive, NSBE presented class projects and showcased sample technologies for the local community to explore, including various 3D printing technologies, investment casting, and recycled plastics injection molding. Jordan Branch, the president of NSBE, remarked, “It was an amazing opportunity to be a part of an incredible team giving back to the community while showcasing the sustainability efforts and exciting developments happening on our campus.” This initiative is aimed at inspiring and building a pipeline for minority and underrepresented youth in local communities to explore careers in STEM fields.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this event. We hope to see you again next year!

Contributed by Jordan L. Branch