Advanced Manufacturing Lab

The Advanced Manufacturing & Design Lab

From Prototype to Proof of Concept with State-of-the-Art Technology

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Who We Are

Dr. Ian Enochs is the Principal investigator for the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Lab. This lab was created to be a resource for scientists and collaborators to build and explore new technologies for enhancing research and data collection. Nate Formel, Graham Kolodziej, and Nash Solderberg are the primary researchers utilizing and maintaining this resource with Dr. Enochs to further research done at AOML.

| Ian Enochs, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

| Nate Formel

Project Manager

| Graham Kolodziej

Research Associate

| Nash Soderberg

Research Associate

Top News

Scientists Use 3D Printing Technology to Study Water Chemistry at Coral Reefs

AOML researchers have taken an innovative approach to studying the changing carbonate chemistry of seawater at shallow coral reef sites. Using 3D printing technology made possible by the new Advanced Manufacturing and Design Lab at AOML, researchers with the Acidification, Climate, and Coral Reef Ecosystems Team, or ACCRETE, have created a water sampler in-house.

Subsurface Automated Samplers on the reef. Photo Credit, NOAA.

Driving Innovative Science

With State-of-the-Art Technology.

AOML’s advanced manufacturing and design lab (AMDL) uses state-of-the-art equipment to create novel scientific tools, controlling the process all the way from idea to prototype to proof of concept. Some examples of the technology that the lab has embraced are cloud-based CAD software, fused deposition modeling and stereolithography 3D printers, a 150W automated laser cutter, and an automated PCB milling machine.

All of these tools are available for home or commercial use, but bringing them together has given researchers at AOML the ability to quickly prototype and test new tools to assist in accomplishing our research goals and shorten the timeline for developing these tools significantly. The technology in the lab and the tools created from it have also been used to collaborate with other institutions who are committed to engineering innovation in science and open-source technology.

Photo Credit: NOAA
Assembling circuitry in the Advanced Manufacturing Lab at AOML
From Dream to Digital
Advanced 3D Printing
Circuitry Prototyping
Refine & Retool
Intelligent Data Collection
Once a research need and potential solution are identified, the part or tool is created digitally on CAD software. Part compatibility, size, appearance, and even freedom of movement, can be tested virtually before anything is physically made.
Then a file will be created by the CAD software and sent to the 3D printers, milling machine, or our laser cutter. The part is physically cut or 3D printed in the lab to test its fit and function. If the part needs adjustment we revisit Step 1 to edit the component as needed, and then produce the new version. This quick turnaround time makes the prototyping stage incredibly fast!
A PCB milling machine is used to create custom circuit boards for sensors and remote samplers. The circuit board is designed on PCB design software and can be milled in minutes in the lab and then assembled and tested in house, speeding up the circuit board prototyping process.
Once all components are finalized and fit together, the complete tool can be tested. A pressure chamber in the lab allows us to check for leaks since most of our equipment needs to be waterproof. Rigorous testing of the tool’s function in the lab helps us cleanup the design and troubleshoot any issues with circuitry or coding, making sure the final product will do what it was intended to.
Lastly, we demonstrate proof of concept in the field by testing the device repeatedly to ensure an effective and consistent tool was made. After that it’s ready for field use and data gathering to help meet our research goals.

Photo Credit: NOAA
Step 1
Photo Credit: NOAA
Step 2
Photo Credit: NOAA
Step 3
Photo Credit: NOAA
Step 4
Step 5

Research Projects

Fluid Transfer and Filtration For Carbonate Chemistry Analysis

The Advanced Manufacturing and Design Lab at AOML has created a fluid transfer pump for low gas exchange transfer and filtration of precise and consistent volumes of seawater samples from sampling containers for carbonate chemistry analysis.

Submersible Incubation Chamber For Respiration & Calcification Analysis

AOML scientists used the Advanced Manufacturing Lab to create a submersible incubation chamber for analyzing coral and sponge respiration and coral calcification in the lab.

Sub-surface Automated Water Samplers To Measure Spatio-Temporal Flux on the Reef

A sub-surface automated dual water sampler (SAS) for sampling water and analyzing the changes in carbonate chemistry on coral reefs at finer temporal and spatial scales. To lean more about this project, visit its page here.

Sub-surface Automated Water Samplers allow scientists to detect nuanced variations on the reef at certain times to better understand the ecosystem. Keep reading to visit the blog post or build your own with instructions below.

Environmental DNA Sampler For DNA Sampling in the Water Column

AOML scientists also created a sub-surface automated environmental DNA (eDNA) sampler for sampling eDNA in the water column. The low-cost open-source design will, similar to the SAS, help researchers sample eDNA at finer temporal and spatial scales for research and monitoring purposes.

Subsurface Automated Sampler

The sub-surface automated dual water sampler was designed by researchers at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and the University of Miami to help scientists study water chemistry on shallow reef habitats. It was also created to minimize some of the financial hurdles in marine research by serving as a low-cost open-source alternative to existing water samplers. Explore the sampler’s website, use it to guide you in building and using your own water samplers, embrace the maker movement and improve on our design. If you are a teacher, there are free lesson plans to download that include labs and activities related to science, technology, and engineering. Click the image to visit the site and learn how to build yours.

Driving Innovative Science With Experimental Design

Open Source Designs

SAS For sampling water and analyzing changes in carbonate chemistry on coral reefs

A sub-surface automated dual water sampler (SAS) for sampling water and analyzing changes in carbonate chemistry on coral reefs at finer temporal and spatial scales. To learn more about this project, visit its page www.coral.noaa.gov/accrete/sas/

SASe For sampling eDNA in the water column

A sub-surface automated sampler for environmental DNA (eDNA) called SASe that is used to sample eDNA in the water column. The low-cost open-source design will, similar to the SAS, help researchers sample eDNA at finer temporal and spatial scales for research and monitoring purposes.

CRANG For rapid measurements of coral growth

The coral rapid assessment of net growth (CRANG) system is a non-lethal automated incubation and sampling system for standardizing and streamlining rapid measurements of coral growth and respiration.

Fluid Transfer Pump For low gas exchange sample transfer and filtration of seawater

Fluid Transfer Pump: A fluid transfer pump for low gas exchange sample transfer and filtration of precise and consistent volumes of seawater from sampling containers for carbonate chemistry analysis.

Automated Feeders For transferring food into experimental tanks

An automated feeding system consisting of a programmable user interface with the electronics in a single housing that controls up to five remote peristaltic pumps for transferring food into experimental tanks at predetermined times and volumes.