The Department of Mechanical and Automatic Engineering (MAE) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong continues to work on providing students with fundamental knowledge, analytical skills and practical training opportunities. To expand their level of innovation in academic research, MAE has set up a 3D printing workshop and purchased more than 20 Raise3D printers, including the E2, E2CF, Pro2, and Pro2 Plus, which greatly facilitated its cross-teaching and research fields.
MAE of CUHK
The Chinese University of Hong Kong is among the top comprehensive universities in Hong Kong with more than 60 years of history. The MAE Department was established in 1994. It is committed to educating and conducting research in Mechanical and Automation Engineering, as well as Energy and Environmental Engineering. With the concerted effort of all its department members, MAE has attained numerous remarkable achievements and nurtured talents in academic, technological and entrepreneurial sections.
Application History of 3D Printing and Introduction of Raise3D Printers
MAE began to apply 3D printing in teaching and scientific research as early as 30 years ago, and has accumulated rich 3D printing knowledge and 3D printing application experience. MAE provides students with various polymer 3D printing technologies such as FDM, SLA, and DLP.
As the scope of research expanded, MAE gradually increased the base of Raise3D printers to accommodate multiple scientific research uses. Raise3D printers were first installed in the department in 2018, and they mainly help MAE solve the following difficulties in teaching and scientific research:
- An attempt to illustrate abstract and incomprehensible concepts in teaching with Raise3D printers;
- Rapid verification of students‘ R&D results;
- To 3D-Print small-sized models as experimental objects or as experimental aids.
- To 3D-print industrial parts for direct use in subsequent experiments and applications.
Raise3D Maintains Consistently Stable Printing
Raise3D consistently delivers highly reliable prints with good quality. MAE’s 3D printers are set up to be available to all students and staff in the department. Since purchasing the first Raise3D printer in 2018, MAE teachers and students have continuously printed thousands of engineering parts over the last five years, ranging from small engineering components to robot parts with a size of 600 mm.
MAE has stringent requirements regarding printing accuracy and stability of the 3D printer, so as to ensure the accuracy of the experimental data. MAE has built a 3D printing studio in the college and used more than 20 Raise3D printers – including the E2, E2CF, Pro2 and Pro2 Plus.
- Raise3D E2: Equipped with IDEX dual extruders, a desktop printer that can maintain small-scale batch production for a long time;
- Raise3D E2CF: optimized for 3D printing carbon fiber-reinforced filaments, suitable for prototyping of carbon fiber reinforced filaments;
- Raise3D Pro2/Pro2 Plus: Maximum printing size of 305 x 305 x 300 mm/305 x 305 x 605 mm, suitable for direct production of large parts.
Wide Choice of Filaments for Raise3D
Beside running costs, the availability of high varieties of material for printing of different parts are also important as an engineering department that demands parts with different material properties to cater the needs of the applications of the final products. The availability of a large choice of filament from Raise3D at a competitive price was a critical factor that had been seriously considered before it was short-listed.
Raise3D provides general-purpose filaments such as PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, PP; carbon fiber-reinforced 3D printing filaments for final production use; ESD safe filaments and more. Raise3D’s OFP (Open Filament Program) 2.0 continues to cooperate with third-party filament manufacturers to provide specific industrial-grade filaments with guaranteed mechanical properties and printing performance, which is convenient for MAE to carry out more professional scientific research.
Ease of Use Facilitates Scientific Research
Although the students and staff in the department are mostly possessed of good knowledge of 3D printing, the ease of use of Raise3D products is always beneficial to users as well as to the supporting staff.
With Raise3D printers proven track record, users are totally convinced that the operation of the systems is extremely easy to handle in terms of both hardware and software. Students can handle their print jobs without having to submit requests for support to the staff, which reduces the burden of the teaching and tech support in running the workshop.
Exploring Hyper Speed Printing with Raise3D Hyper FFF®
MAE is very interested in upgrading the print speed of the existing Raise3D E2, E2CF, Pro2 and Pro2 Plus. At present, the speed of Raise3D Pro2 series has reached Level 1 (100 mm/s-200 mm/s). MAE is also exploring the possibility of purchasing Pro3/ Pro3 Plus, which is equipped with Hyper FFF®, and where the speed is increased to Level 2 (200-350 mm/s).
Raise3D’s Hyper FFF® is a system engineered for efficiency and performance, which can increase the yield rate of FFF printing without any loss of printed part quality, and will meet MAE’s high demand for 3D printing and more sophisticated scientific research needs.
This case is shared by Jadason Technology Ltd., which is Raise3D’s distributor in Hong Kong.