Micromanipulating micromachines

May 10, 2007
Engineers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a 1-sq-cm tool that will help build microscopic-sized machines.

Micromanipulating micromachines

Micromanipulation stations can assemble "micromachines" made of parts as small as 39 millionths of an inch or even to the nanoscale.

Future microscopic-sized machines will use tiny, agile "fingers" to grip, lift, and do assembly work.

Four microfingers within a chiplike micromanipulator station grasp and move micron-sized particles.

Laxman Saggere, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and graduate student Sandeep Krishnan developed algorithms that coordinate the fingers. The researchers used the device to grab spheres 15 µm in diameter.

A major obstacle in developing microscale machines is the assembly process. "If we want to make a micromotor, we need to assemble it with microgears, shafts, and other components at microscale. We can't do that today," says Saggere. Future designs, the engineers say, will likely employ piezoelectric actuators to refine movements.

Sponsored Recommendations

The Digital Thread: End-to-End Data-Driven Manufacturing

May 1, 2024
Creating a Digital Thread by harnessing end-to-end manufacturing data is providing unprecedented opportunities to create efficiencies in the world of manufacturing.

Medical Device Manufacturing and Biocompatible Materials

May 1, 2024
Learn about the critical importance of biocompatible materials in medical device manufacturing, emphasizing the stringent regulations and complex considerations involved in ensuring...

VICIS Case Study

May 1, 2024
The team at VICIS turned to SyBridge and Carbon in order to design and manufacture protective helmet pads, leveraging the digitization and customization expertise of Toolkit3D...

What's Next for Additive Manufacturing?

May 1, 2024
From larger, faster 3D printers to more sustainable materials, discover several of the top additive manufacturing trends for 2023 and beyond.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!