Shape Deposition Manufacturing (SDM) is a developing Rapid Prototyping technology in which mechanisms are simultaneously fabricated and assembled. As shown in this figure, the basic SDM cycle consists of alternate deposition and shaping (in this case, machining) of layers of part material and sacrificial support material.

This cycle of material deposition and removal results in three key features:
  1. Building parts in incremental layers allows us complete access to the internal geometry of any mechanism.
  2. This access allows us to embed actuators, sensors and other pre-fabricated functional components inside the structure.
  3. By varying the materials used in the deposition process, we can spatially vary the material properties of the mechanism itself. 

The resulting mechanisms can have almost arbitrary geometry, embedded actuators and sensor and locally-varying stiffness properties, making them more robust and simpler to control.

Please follow the links below for examples and tutorials on prototypes built using SDM:

For the latest information on SDM, including new SDM tutorials, please see the new SDM wiki pages.

Compliant multi-link legs fabrication sequence.
Graded Materials with SDM
  Pneumatic Linkage with Embedded Components
Tensile Specimens with Embedded Strain Gages
Linkage with Embedded Motors
Double-flexure Joint
  Embedded Pressure Sensor
Hexapedal Prototypes
Text-based tutorial for Shape Deposition Manufacturing.
Material Design for SDM Fabrication
  Go to the Rapid Prototyping Laboratory