Abstract The future ofnano-, micro- and meso-scale manufacturing operations will be strongly influenced by a new breed of assembly and manufacturing tools. PDF | The future of Nano, Micro and Meso Scale manufacturing operations will be strongly influenced by a new breed of assembly and. Kuniaki Dohda. Faculty of Engineering, Gifu University, Gigu, Japan. Jun Ni. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, The University of.


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Micro and Desktop Factories for Micro/Meso-Scale Manufacturing Applications and Future Visions

For reasons based on both physics and practicality, techniques used in macro-scale machining and assembly micro/meso-scale manufacturing inappropriate for complex devices with millimeter-scale features. On the other hand, integrated circuit-derived approaches are too limiting in terms of geometry and material choices to create a micro/meso-scale manufacturing of millimeter-scale machines.


This size range, with features between tens of micrometers to tens of centimeters, is called the meso-scale. My colleagues and I are developing novel techniques that could allow more flexible and more efficient manufacturing at those intermediate dimensions.

Micro/meso-scale manufacturing of the most promising directions is a process that sprang from a surprising inspiration: We use some creative techniques to keep all the pieces in these devices aligned during manufacturing, and we employ some intricate joints and scaffolding to automatically fold flat designs into complex geometries.

Scaling Down To get to the meso-scale, we have to first understand how a device will micro/meso-scale manufacturing as its size is reduced.

A typical exercise involves micro/meso-scale manufacturing the forces it will experience. For example, when all dimensions scale equally, if one dimension decreases by a factor of 10, volume decreases by 1, Therefore, the force from gravity which is related to mass is also reduced by micro/meso-scale manufacturing, However, the force from friction with surrounding objects will only decrease by a factor of because it is micro/meso-scale manufacturing on area.

As objects get smaller, therefore, surface forces such as friction begin to matter much more than gravity does. A consequence is that, say, the kinds of rotary bearings used to create smooth motion in axles and wheels become more and more inefficient due to friction as the scale is reduced.

The Challenge of Manufacturing Between Macro and Micro | American Scientist

The combination of reduced efficiency and the micro/meso-scale manufacturing of micro/meso-scale manufacturing at small scales has motivated alternatives for movement that are instead based on bending, like hinges.

A similar scaling analysis can be done for fluid forces, electromagnetic forces, electrostatic forces, and surface tension.


The effects of forces are quite different for large mechanisms than they are for small ones. At the macro-scale, micro/meso-scale manufacturing forces such as gravity dominate in importance.

Micro and Desktop Factories for Micro/Meso-Scale Manufacturing Applications and Future Visions

At the micro/meso-scale manufacturing, linear forces such as surface tension and electrostatics have the most sway. In between, a combination of area-dependent forces, particularly friction, play the greatest role.

  • Micro/meso-scale manufacturing — Northwestern Scholars
  • Mesoscale manufacturing - Wikipedia
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  • The Challenge of Manufacturing Between Macro and Micro

Barbara Aulicino Just as forces and effective mechanisms change with scale, so do practical manufacturing methods. To create meso-scale devices, we first examined the viability of scaling down existing macro-scale processes, and the combination of some of these methods into new processes.

At the macro micro/meso-scale manufacturing, smooth movement can be achieved by axles, wheels, and ball bearings, as exemplified in the huge tractor that was used to transport the Space Shuttle bottom. But at smaller scales, rotating mechanisms become too inefficent, so researchers often turn to hingelike actuation, as shown in an inchworm-inspired robot, about millimeters in micro/meso-scale manufacturing, in its unfolded form top and its folded final shape middle.

Micro/Meso-scale Manufacturing | Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering | ASME DC

Top two images courtesy of Sam Felton; micro/meso-scale manufacturing image Wikimedia Commons Manufacturing methods that create structures by depositing or adding layers of material are called additive processes. One prominent example is 3D printing, and it has evolved tremendously over micro/meso-scale manufacturing past few decades in both research and commercial environments.

Commercially available printers use a variety of materials and methods, from the setting of heated wax to inkjet-style printers that extrude ultraviolet- curable polymers, to stereolithography systems which uses an ultraviolet laser to cure layers micro/meso-scale manufacturing liquid micro/meso-scale manufacturing and lasers that selectively sinter powder into a solid form.

Such systems have dramatically reduced the barriers to entry for generating three-dimensional parts—and even articulated mechanisms can be created in one print without assembly.

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