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College of Engineering Showcases eMerging 3D Technologies

The University of Miami’s College of Engineering (UMCoE) made its return to eMerge Americas this year to showcase the latest technology being developed at the College, which includes the promise to change healthcare.

The two-day conference took place on Monday and Tuesday, April 23 and 24, at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Engineers, students and administrators welcomed visitors’ eager to hear about the innovative research taking place at the UMCoE: advanced 3-D printers and equipment fabricating tools that will revolutionize the realm of personalized healthcare.

At the exhibit staffed by engineers from the UM College of Engineering-Johnson & Johnson 3D Printing Center of Excellence Collaborative Laboratory, two 3D printers produced miniature replicas of UM mascot Sebastian the Ibis. Dedicated late last year, the facility will soon also include a new micro 3D printer capable of producing delicate medical surgical devices such as those used in laparoscopic procedures.

One of those who took the lead in showing off the College’s capabilities was freshman mechanical engineering student Marco Fernandez (BSME ’21), who manages the makerspace, assists the engineering department, and improves the overall space and experience to benefit students.

“eMerge Americas was a phenomenal opportunity to showcase our University, our capabilities as CoE students, as well as the direction we are heading in as a group,” he explains. “With regards to the UM 3D printing lab, being exposed to all sorts of innovation happening in Miami and abroad only serves to inspire us even more to try and create, think big, engage and contribute even more as students and as a program.”

The UMCoE exhibit showcased three different printers each utilizing different printing materials. The first on display was the Makerbot — a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printer, where the fusing filament that comes out in a single layer. The second printer was a Formlabs Form 2 — a Stereolithography (SLA) printer using laser sintering to print in liquid resin. Finally, the third printer fabricated 3D printed metal parts out of stainless steel and titanium at the Collaborative Laboratory using laser powder bed fusion.

“The biggest take away from eMerge Americas is that while the Collaborative Laboratory has been doing an excellent job since its inception, there are so many great things yet to be accomplished in this student-run space with the quality and talented students we have in the College of Engineering,” Fernandez says.

In addition to showcasing the College’s development of 3D printing technology, College of Engineering Dean Jean-Pierre Bardet highlighted the importance of partnerships and the culture that helps foster innovation.

“Great research universities need to support these types of innovative ecosystems. The Collaborative Laboratory has changed the way students and faculty create, interact and work on projects. Universities are transforming education and reshaping the future through collaboration and student engagement like we are doing with Johnson & Johnson.”

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