BRITE Energy Innovators

BRITE Fabrication Lab

Machines in the fabrication lab at BRITE Energy Labs

Thanks to the support of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the funds provided under the Project: 0679-06288, BRITE Energy Labs has been able to expand our capabilities and services to support prototyping and fabrication development for our entrepreneur members and the developers of our community.

We have recently opened our Fabrication Lab and outfitted the facility with a suite of additive
and subtractive manufacturing tools and machines.

Our new additive manufacturing resources consist of several 3D printers from MakerBot and Vista AST , capable of printing in many common prototyping and finishing materials such as PLA, ABS, Nylon, and Carbon Fiber. Our summer intern, Sahaj Thapa, had taken this opportunity to print and assemble a scale, cut-away, model of a two-spool high bypass turbo fan jet engine. His blog post on that project and his experience can be found here.

Image 1: Two MakerBot Method X Carbon 3D printers that can be configured to print with multiple materials, including soluble framing. They even have cameras so you can log into the remote-control app on your phone or computer and watch the magic happen. 
Image 2: This is the cut-away jet engine that Sahaj was able build for demonstration purposes. This full assembly consists of more than 40 pieces that were printed on the MakerBot Method X. Note the ability to generate the intricately designed fins and exhaust director. 
Image 3: Four Invent 3D printers with various capabilities to support high temperature, fast, high resolution, and dual material printing. The might not have cameras but they are more than capable of producing the goods, especially if you want them fast. If you want to create a quick prototype, the high-speed printer can work at approximately 4x faster print speed than a standard 3D printer. 

Additionally, for manual forming of metals, we have a fully operational machine shop with a milling machine, lathe, band saw, sanding, and metal forming equipment. These machines make it possible to dimension and form materials without the needed reproducibility provided by Computer Numerical Control (CNC). When there is need for those automated projects where you may have to create very intricate and detailed pieces, or when you just need to make more than a few, we also have two Bantam Tools Desktop CNC machines that can transform most metals, plastics, and even hardwoods into functional components. 

Image 4: BRITE Fabrication Labs Machine Shop. We hide the fun stuff in the warehouse. Here is where we can transform simple blocks of metal into useful parts and components.  
Image 5: These two Bantam Tools Desktop CNC milling machines can be fitted with 4th axis fixtures so you can work on not only cubes, but also cylinders to create parts that are significantly more complex. Just download the file, set up the job and go drink a coffee… 
Image 6: Here we see Sahaj working on his first ever part with a lathe. It might be a messy job, but it is fun to see a hunk of metal take shape into something physical. 
Image 7: Here we see Frank putting the drilling capabilities of the vertical mill to good use. He is drilling holes in the support brackets that will be used to affix the musical notes for a lighting and art installation in the alley. Look for that blog post to come. 

For those developing and producing circuit boards, we can help you with this as well. Our two Voltera V-One circuit board printers allow you to drag and drop Gerber files directly into the software and print circuits on both the front and back of boards with automated through hole drilling, solder dispensing and reflow. 

Image 8: One of the two Voltera V-One circuit board printers shown with a board that was drilled, printed, and pasted on this very machine.

Of course, there is the issue of developing those 3D models or circuit paths to take advantage of these machines, and this is why we have licensed Fusion 360 to support this effort. Fusion 360 is the first and only integrated cloud CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB software platform of its kind so that users can create and export models for 3D printing or CNC machining, as well as Gerber CAD files for schematics, layout, and manufacturing of your printed circuit boards.
Image 9: Fusion 360 included capabilities cover the gambit of all design and manufacturing needs

We have also been fortunate enough to expand our capabilities by purchasing and setting up some key wet lab, battery, and microgrid support equipment. These include a new digital compound microscope for up-close and detailed inspection of your specimens and two new DC load banks from Keysight and Power House Manufacturing

Image 10: AmScope Compound Microscope with Digital CCD camera so you can save and share those memories with your closest friends and family 
Image 11: Power House 8kW DC Load Bank allowing us to draw some serious power through your devices. If they can survive this load, they should be able to take on the world. 

With these new capabilities, BRITE Energy Labs is ready to help you bring your ideas to life. After we help you build it, we can help you with testing and validation before connecting with our network of partner manufacturers to graduate your new product to full scale production.

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