Monthly Archives: March 2019

Project Title: Additive Manufacturing Process and Dimensional ControlHoneywell logo

Team 18014 Members:
Juan Carlos Martinez, mechanical engineering
Zachary Minnick, industrial engineering
Zachary Ondrejka, mechanical engineering
Lucas Stolberg, materials science and engineering
Morgan Victoria Swanson, materials science and engineering
Kathleen Van Atta, material sciences and engineering

Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace

Team 18014 is working on mitigating distortions in 3D-printed parts with Honeywell. Front row, left to right: J.C. Martinez and Morgan Swanson. Back row, left to right: Zach Minnick, Lucas Stolburg and Zach Ondrejka.


Honeywell Aerospace is one of the most loyal partners of the UA Engineering Design Program, having supported more than 70 projects in the last 11 years, including 12 in the 2018-2019 academic year alone – the most projects a single company has sponsored throughout the life of the program and in a single year.

For one of those projects, Team 18014 is making a turbine blade using additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, using metallic materials on a Honeywell-owned advanced 3D printer. Creating parts layer by layer allows engineers to produce complex designs quickly and at low cost compared to traditional manufacturing methods. With modern 3D printers, many printed parts are usable directly for their intended function even in demanding conditions.

“Within the additive manufacturing industry, especially with metal printing for aerospace applications, the geometry of parts can be quite complex,” said mechanical engineering major Zach Ondrejka. “This offers a lot of benefits, but one of the big drawbacks is controlling distortions when printing parts.”

Down With Distortions!

The team’s project is centered on accounting for these distortions, caused by heating, melting, solidification and cooling during additive manufacturing. Their goal is to make sure their final product comes within 0.005 inches of the dimensions and geometry of their design parameters.

“When you print it, it’s not going to conform to the exact geometry of the design,” said Suresh Sundarraj, one of Team 18014’s corporate sponsors. “The team’s job is to figure out what we need to do on the simulation side to compensate for these distortions. How closely can they achieve the design as in the original CAD file?”

The team started by running simulations of how the blade would turn out if printed at different orientations – does turning the design on its side so that a different feature prints first reduce distortion? Though they knew from their research to expect deviations, they were surprised by just how much the printed part deformed after cooling – up to 0.036 inches at some points.

Sundarraj advised the team at a meeting: It’s more important to achieve the end goal than the plan. Have a flexible plan, make sure everyone knows how to use the software on their own and watch the simulations as they’re running to see where distortions start to occur.

The team members chose the project because 3D printing is one of today’s fastest-developing and most promising manufacturing methods. Ondrejka learned in one of his classes about how 3D printing could improve the efficiency of engines in the aerospace industry by allowing the manufacture of turbine blades with built-in cooling networks, for example.

“Additive manufacturing is pretty much the next step for manufacturing, because it gives you so much customizability,” said team lead and industrial engineering major Zachary Minnick. “Metal 3D printing is fairly rare to see, so I was really interested to dive into that.”

A Staunch Supporter

Honeywell’s partnership with the University of Arizona continues to grow: The company is also donating a 3D printer to the College of Engineering this summer for future use by students and the Engineering Design Program. Come and see the results of Team 18014’s experimentation – and the other 11 Honeywell teams – at Engineering Design Day 2019 on April 29.

The project that took the top prize at Engineering Design Day 2017 was a drone designed to pollinate date palms. The College of Engineering has teamed up with the Eller College of Management’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture to help participating students create a startup to market the drone as part of the Go to Market Initiative.

Project Title: Dynamic Bioreactor for Engineered Cartilage Tissue

Team 18066 Members:
Dallas Altamirano, biomedical engineering
Efren Barron, biomedical engineering
Sam Freitas, biomedical engineering
Xinyi Gu, electrical engineering
Danielle Larson, biosystems engineering
Trinny Tat, biomedical engineering

Project Title: Virtual Reality System for Realistic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training

Team 18072 Members:
Hannah Bergeron, biomedical engineering
Jesse Gilmer, electrical and computer engineering
Gisselle Gonzalez, biomedical engineering
Brianna Hudson, biosystems engineering
Miguel Peña, biomedical engineering
Jimmy Tran, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering

A woman wearing a virtual reality headset kneeling over a CPR practice dummy.

Hannah Bergeron of Team 18072 tests their design of a virtual reality CPR training system.


Gore’s Long History With the College of Engineering

W.L. Gore & Associates has been a longtime friend of the College of Engineering. They sponsored Engineering Design Program projects for many years, and also sponsor the W.L. Gore & Associates prize for the most creative solution at Design Day. The company has made an annual gift since the 2013-2014 academic year to subsidize biomedical engineering capstone projects, and sponsors the freshman-year Solar Oven Throw Down.

“We feel that supporting things that enhance the student experience is really important,” said Ryan Gapp, current Gore college champion for the UA and a 2014 graduate of the university’s biomedical engineering program. “One of the things we really like is that this program focuses on the design effort in a team. At Gore, we generally work in small teams of about five to 10 people. By supporting this, we’re hoping the students get more of those skills that make them ready for the workplace — not just at Gore, but at other companies too.”

Teams 18066 and 18072, both working on biomedical projects that exemplify Gore’s values of teamwork, strong communication and creative problem-solving, are just two examples of the student groups the company’s gift supports.

Team 18066’s dynamic bioreactor for engineered cartilage tissue.

Cartilage Cats

When cartilage in the human body is damaged, it doesn’t grow back. Scientists are investigating how to replenish lost cartilage through stem cells, or undifferentiated cells that haven’t developed a specific purpose. However, cartilage grown from stem cells isn’t as strong as cartilage in the human body because it’s not used to supporting weight. Team 18066 is developing a bioreactor that will place a load on the stem cells while they are developing into cartilage cells.

“Applying the load helps the stem cells choose to turn into cartilage cells, rather than something like a muscle cell,” said team lead and biomedical engineering major Dallas Altamirano. “It helps them align and interconnect like fibers with firmer membranes, so if you were to put the cells into a person, they would be used to feeling those loads.”

The team went through several designs before they found one that most closely replicated the way weight is borne by living tissue, and one of their biggest challenges has been determining how to measure strain on the tiny scaffolds that are host to the stem cells. But the team says the challenge is worth it.

“This is beneficial for basically anyone who has cartilage damage, whether it’s from disease or trauma,” Altamirano said.

Learning CPR in VR

Though CPR can be lifesaving, it has to be performed correctly to be effective. Team 18072 is developing a virtual reality system paired with a physical CPR dummy that will provide feedback to users on their CPR techniques.

“We envision that the device will have a training mode where you go through all the steps you would in a CPR class, like checking for responsiveness, checking a subject’s breathing and calling 911 or making sure someone else does,” said biomedical engineering major and team lead Gisselle Gonzalez. “Then, you go through compression simulation and have a debrief where you get feedback.”

They’re basing the system’s standards as closely as they can on the American Heart Association’s standards of 2- to 2.4-inch-deep chest compression at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute. Integrating a real-life CPR mannequin into the virtual reality system has been a challenge, as has creating software that can track hand movements to within 0.1 inches.

“This has a lot of potential to help a lot of people,” said biomedical engineering major Hannah Bergeron. “And I’ve never touched Leap Motion, the VR software we’re using, in my life. It’s been a good challenge to learn how to code.”