Skip to content
3D Printing Certification

Interview: Grace X. Gu, UC Berkeley, developer of a self-correcting 3D printer


In 2017 multinational pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson, released the WiSTEM2D Scholars Award plan to maximize the representation of females in six scientific and technical fields. Open up to assistant and affiliate academic professors from across the STEM field, winners of the prize are awarded $150,000 in funding and 3 decades of mentorship from Johnson & Johnson to enable guidance essential improvements in their occupations.

The 2019 winner of the WiSTEM2D is Grace X. Gu. Component of the Mechanical Engineering college at UC Berkeley, Professor Gu has performed pioneering perform in the industry of additive producing certification, like modern work on a self-correcting 3D printer. 3D Printing certification Business obtained in make contact with with Professor Gu to to understand far more about this distinct project, and foreseeable future hopes for 3D printing certification in education and learning.  

The 6 WiSTEM2D Scholars Award winners – Katia Vega (major remaining) Ronke Mojoyinola Olabisi (best middle) Grace X. Gu (major right) Rebecca Morrison (bottom still left) Naama Geva-Zatorsky (base center) Shengxi Huang (base right) . Image by using Johnson & Johnson

A self correcting 3D printer

Gu has been concerned in additive producing certification for the very last 5 years, and joined the UC Berkeley college of Mechanical Engineering in 2018 immediately after finishing her PhD. Since then she has been looking to handle the constraints of additive producing certification.

An vital pillar of Gu’s perform has been the improvement of a self correcting 3D printer. The purpose is to generate a 3D printer capable of “detecting widespread issues” all through manufacture (these kinds of as overhanging, underextrusion, stringing, porosity, dimensional tolerance) and alter printing parameters to take care of the challenges in real time. In purchase to obtain these effects, Professor Gu has designed a machine learning software for the 3D printer.

“During the printing approach,” Gu clarifies, “images of the portion will be fed into a machine learning classification model that will classify the trouble (or no problem) and use awareness generated throughout its training period to guide the next knobs to convert to fix the difficulty.”

“Currently, we are working on this product for many polymers (PLA, Abs, TPU, Computer) but hope to extend it to metallic products as perfectly in the upcoming. We believe that that a identical framework can be applied for different resources (nevertheless classification labels may be somewhat unique for diverse components).”

Machine learning created microstructure models and their overall performance in strain tests. Strain indicated in the correct hand column – higher numbers equal worse performance. Graphic by way of Supplies Horizons

The general objective of Professor Gu’s function is to make faster, more responsible 3D printers that waste significantly less materials, and have implications for the broader manufacturing sector. Professor Gu adds, “We believe that that bringing this streamlined manufacturing process to the industrial level will enable introduce the solutions of tomorrow, this sort of as tailor made-designed health care devices and successful photo voltaic cells, to our each day lives.”

Know-how is crucial

The growth of the self correcting 3D printer is what earned Professor Gu the 2019 Johnson & Johnson Gals in STEM2D award in the industry of manufacturing.

Commenting on her gain she reported, “I am so grateful to Johnson and Johnson for this award and am thrilled to use the funding to do the job with the undergraduate and graduate college students in my lab to even more build the self-correcting technological innovation.”

Gu now plans to invest time with her pupils to develop the code and interface required to create these faculty-welcoming 3D printers.

Nonetheless these printers are not quite beneficial if university youngsters don’t know how to use them, which is why Gu is likely to wonderful duration to include herself in lower instruction.

Speaking with regards to introducing person friendly 3D printers for the classroom, Gu reported, “Currently, there are a large amount of obstacles to 3D printing certification mainly because studying how to create the styles applying Computer Aided Design and style (CAD) has a steep finding out curve. I hope to collaborate with teachers and convey to their classrooms person-helpful, available 3D printers.”

Her goal to create a simplified CAD software, like Tinkercad with “pre-defined” styles that students will be able to use as “basic creating blocks” for their designs. “I want to make it open-supply so that educators all-around the planet can more develop this 3D printer and incorporate it into their college curriculum,” Gu explained.

Grace X. Gu. Image by means of UC Berkeley

Not restricting studying to educational institutions both, a lot of of Professor Gu’s central suggestions emphasis on enabling stop consumers – of any age – to fabricate objects of fascination without knowledge of product science and design.

“In this case, people are not limited to inputting CAD drawings to a printer interface, but instead high-level descriptions of the item they want (fat, function, property requirements) which the pc will use to create designs and opt for components that satisfy the user’s specifications,” she…