Inside Rensselaer
* AML Project Garners Honors
(l to r) Jeffrey Moss, Casey Hoffman, Judd Rattner, Sam Chiappone, Dan Walczyk, Larry Ruff, and Steve Derby
AML Project Garners Honors
A team of Rensselaer engineers took second place last month in the 2007 ASME Student Manufacturing Competition for their method to mass-produce tiny models of the EMPAC building (see below). Results of the competition, which is sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), were announced in late October at the organization’s annual conference in Atlanta.

The award-winning project grew out of an assignment in the School of Engineering course Advanced Manufacturing Lab (AML). As part of the class, engineering students Jeffrey Moss, Casey Hoffman, and Judd Rattner were given a small model of Rensselaer’s near-complete Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, or EMPAC, and asked to devise the best way of manufacturing the item. The second part of the project was to employ this manufacturing method — everything from buying components to building tools and programming robots — and demonstrate that it could work.

The team, under the guidance of AML professors Dan Walczyk and Steve Derby, as well as Course Manager Sam Chiappone and Systems Engineer Larry Ruff, produced more than 600 units of the EMPAC models, which have built-in lights and can be illuminated with the press of a button.

Tarek Abdoun *
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Hoffman and Rattner traveled to Atlanta to present the project to ASME judges. Along with taking second place in the competition, the team was also the highest ranked project with the implementation of an actual manufacturing system. “It just shows the strength of the engineers at Rensselaer,” Rattner said.

For more information on the ASME Student Manufacturing Competition, visit:

For more information on Rensselaer’s Advanced Manufacturing Lab, visit:

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 1, Number 8, November 29, 2007
©2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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