Rapid Prototyping Research

img-tetracast-photosMSOE’s Rapid Prototyping Research Department has grown over the years launched initially by the intense exploratory drive of the Rapid Prototyping Consortium.  Today, RP-research continues to advance the state-of-the-art in additive technologies and hybrid fabrication in a range of areas including medical, aerospace, fluid power, metal fabrication, nano-tech, bio-tech, and bio-molecular education.  Product designs emerging from RP-research are in use around the world and emerging RP-structures and processes developed in the RP-Research laboratory are extending the envelope of traditional manufacturing to new levels.

With the additive nature of Solid Freeform Fabrication it is possible to create objects never thought possible, such as complex, three dimensional lattice structures. MSOE’s patented TetraLattice is one of these structures.

RP-Research Vision

RP Research explores, advances, and discovers materials and processing technology to provide practical solutions to challenges faced by industry.

RP Research accomplishments

  • Developed algorithm to produce the first complex protein model built using rapid prototyping
  •  Produced the first variable density metallic lattice structures
  • Published the first extensive RP-pattern study for use by investment casting foundries
  •  Developed PlatyScan 4.0 and scanning system for Platypus technologies
  • Introduced the first intertwined lattice structure applications
  • Invented new advanced metal casting process capable of producing castings with high resolution features previously not obtainable
  • Developed Rapid tooling process for producing lost-foam patterns for Ford Motor Company
  • Discovered a valuable optical phenomenon for Platypus Tech, in use today
  • Reduced several key protein structures into manufacturable components for low-cost injection mold production
  • Invented process for producing color-rich molecular models with a two-shot molding process
  • Hold multiple patents on manufacturing processes, structures and additive technologies applications

Past and present clients, collaborators and funding sources

  • 3D-Molecular Designs
  • 4D-Value Added Solutions Team
  • Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)
  • DSM-Somos
  • Festo Corporation
  • National Fluid Power Association
  • National Institutes of Health and Human Services
  • National Science Foundation
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Orbital Technologies Group
  • Platypus Technologies
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Rapid Prototyping Consortium
  • United States Air Force

RPR software and process capabilities

  • CMP-Hybrid advanced casting system
  • Nano-Engineering Laboratory
  • PlatyScan system
  • Altair Optistruct
  • Comsol
  • SolidWorks & ProEngineer
  • LabView
  • RP-Magics


Vito Gervasi
(414) 277-4550
Fax: (414) 277-7470

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