MRO Magazine

PODCAST: LAVA 3D, environmentally-friendly additive manufacturing


Engineering

January 17, 2022
By Mario Cywinski


Industries

GUEST: Dr. Rafiq Ahmad, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta.

TOPIC: 

In part two of our conversation with Dr. Ahmad, he discusses the research process that has been ongoing at the University of Alberta, which aims to support the Canadian market with a speedy, automated, portable, and affordable large-scale additive manufacturing technology to help protect the environment by using recycled plastics, called LAVA 3D.

According to Dr. Ahmad, LAVA 3D will be compatible to work with virgin material and multi-material 3D printing, for strength-to-requirements, to support resource-based industries in Canada. The proposed faster rate of polymer additive manufacturing process will support the growing need for mass-production of PPE components during the pandemic, e.g. personal protective respirators.

LISTEN HERE:

Dr. Rafiq Ahmad is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta. He is the Founder and Director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing, Design and Automation, focusing on hybrid and smart systems, where he helped develop the personal protective respirator (PROPOS). He is also the Founder and Director of Aquaponics 4.0 Learning Factory, focusing on researching system design and development for plants and fish production in a symbiotic ecosystem indoor soil-less environment.

His research interest includes smart engineering systems design and development, digitization, lean manufacturing, hybrid-manufacturing combining additive and subtractive technologies, green technologies (3Rs: recycling, remanufacturing, and repair), sensor and IoT technologies, and industrial automation and robotics.

Dr. Ahmad runs numerous research programs and industrial collaborations targeting the implementation of Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing, robotization, and green technologies in manufacturing, agriculture, and construction areas. Dr. Ahmad is a board member of the International Society of Automation (ISA-Edmonton section, Co-UofA Student Section Advisor) and APEGA and ASME.