Zhakypov, Zhenishbek (2013) Desktop microfactory. [Thesis]
Micro technology is continuously progressing towards smaller, smarter and reliable forms. Consequently, demand for such miniature and complex systems is arising rapidly in various fields such as industry, medicine, aerospace and automotive. Such fast development of micro technology is achieved thanks to improvements in micromanufacturing tools and techniques. Miniaturization of the machinery and manufacturing equipment is emerging to be an attractive idea that would eventually solve many of the issues existing in conventional micro-manufacturing. This work presents a modular and reconfigurable desktop microfactory for high precision assembly and machining of micro mechanical parts as proof of concept inspired by the downsizing trend of the production tools. The system is constructed based on primary functional and performance requirements such as miniature size, operation with sub-millimeter precision, modular and reconfigurable structure, parallel processing capability, ease of transportation and integration. Proposed miniature factory consists of downsized functional modules such as two parallel kinematic robots for manipulation and assembly, galvanometric laser beam scanning system for micromachining, high precision piezoelectric positioning stage, camera system for detection and inspection, and a rotational conveyor system. Each of the listed modules is designed and tested for fine precision tasks separately and results are presented. Design comprises development of mechanics, electronics and controller for the modules individually. Once stand-alone operation of each unit is achieved further assembly to a single microfactory system is considered. The overall mechanical structure of the proposed microfactory facilitates parallel processing, flexible rearrangement of the layout, and ease of assembling and disassembling capabilities. These important steps are taken to investigate possibilities of a microfactory concept for production of microsystems in near future.
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