MEAM Design and Prototyping Laboratories

The main goal of the Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) Design and Prototyping Laboratories is to better enhance the educational experiences of our students by providing access to the resources they need to fabricate and experiment with their ideas. Students are given access to a wide variety of  tools, machinery, and guidance to help them realize their goals. In addition to this, professors are provided the opportunity to utilize these resources to supplement their lessons with hands-on projects.

Apart from providing resources to Penn students during the school year, the labs assist with courses during Penn’s Engineering Summer Academy (ESAP). ESAP offers a unique opportunity for a selective group of high school students to experience rigorous and challenging college-level coursework. The Design and Prototyping Laboratory also offers services to professors. students, and local groups who are interested in having projects fabricated for them or to learn about the methods of fabrication.

Prototype & Fabrication Laboratories (Towne Building)

The Prototype and Fabrication Laboratories provide prototype manufacturing capabilities in support of student design activities. These spaces provide the equipment necessary to fabricate a wide range of projects.

  • The Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (Towne 187) houses the department’s high-end 3D printers and post-processing equipment. Machines include a ProJet 6000HD, an Objet 30, a Fortus 450mc, and a Dimension Elite. Student workers process parts and also assist as consultants for academic course work, laboratory research, and outside groups like the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The AddLab opened summer of 2014.
  • The Rapid Prototyping Laboratory (Towne 167) contains four Universal Laser PLS 4.75 flatbed laser cutters and a fleet of six open access MakerBot 3D printers for hands-on exploration. Four designated PC workstations that are networked to the laser systems are available to provide support for part design and fabrication. The lasers provide students the ability to cut various nonmetallic materials, while the MakerBots offer the ability to 3D print prototypes out of PLA plastic. This lab also houses an injection-molding machine for the use of students enrolled in the IPD 501 (Integrated Computer-Aided Design, Manufacturing, and Analysis).
  • The Precision Machining Laboratory (Towne 169) provides both conventional and computer controlled (CNC) machining capabilities. Equipment available for use includes CNC vertical milling machines, conventional mills and lathes, horizontal and vertical bandsaws, drill presses, grinders and belt sanders. A wide assortment of metal and plastic stock is available to support academic projects and courses such as MEAM 201 and Senior Design.

General Motors (GM) Laboratory (Towne 193)

This laboratory was established in 1988 with a grant from the General Motors Corporation and is utilized to support various undergraduate and graduate lab courses. The GM lab also serves as a space for students working on various independent projects. The lab contains over 30 PC workstations with the most current software available for design, analysis, and testing of electronic and mechanical systems. A complete selection of electronic test equipment is available for use including oscilloscopes, function generators, power supplies, multimeters, etc. Another section of the lab is used to support MEAM Senior Design teams, providing them with the software and equipment they require.

Undergraduate Experimentation Lab (Towne M81)

This lab is utilized to support various undergraduate lab courses. It provides an area for students to complete laboratory experiments utilizing various apparatus and data acquisition systems. Located above the GM lab model shop area, and with an open balcony view into the main GM lab, this space is used primarily for course-related experiments and Senior Design projects. The room has approximately 540 square-feet of project space and access is controlled via PennCard scanner on a single door.

Student Project Lab (Towne B11)

This project laboratory supports various extracurricular student activities such as the Penn Electric Racing Team as well as Senior Design teams. The Welding station and Composites area are also located in this lab to support projects with the assistance of certified instructors. Located at the East end of the Towne basement, this 1700 square-foot, high-ceiling room is accessible through a set of double-doors with PennCard access (24-hour access is granted as needed).

Mechanical and Aerodynamic Testing (Towne B2)

This laboratory is home to a variety of apparatus to assist all levels of course work. Equipment includes a Wind Tunnel, Tensile Testing Machine, Puma Robotic Arm, and PHANToM Haptic interface. Each provides students the opportunity to run and design experiments for industry standard machinery.

Design & Simulation Lab (Towne 205)

This 700-square foot lab on the second floor of the Towne building is home to the lab sections of the MEAM 101 course. The room is a collaborative design space, with 20 CETS-managed PC stations lining three of the walls, a large whiteboard on one wall, and a high-resolution ceiling-mounted projector. This space is central for collaborative learning across all years and courses utilizing software such as Solidworks, COMSOL, and MatLab. The room opened in 2009 and access is controlled via numeric keypad (authorized students have 24-hour access).

PACEE Design Laboratory (Towne 195)

This laboratory serves as a high-end interdisciplinary computation and design space to serve a wide range of interests within both the educational and research environment. Opened in November of 2007 as part of our involvement in the GM-sponsored PACEE program, this unique space is currently serving a number of different needs, including lab instruction and the IPD 501 advanced manufacturing course. The laboratory contains 26 PCs running some of the most advanced computer-aided design, manufacturing, and simulation tools available, including KeyShot, SolidCAM, Fluent, and Eagle. The room has approximately 510 square feet with one large exterior window. Access is controlled via PennCard scanner (authorized students have 24-hour access).