The BDML has a variety of manufacturing tools at our disposal through our relationships with various Labs. See ManufacturingEquipment for an overview.
Shape Deposition Manufacturing
Shape Deposition Manufacturing (SDM) is our method of choice for creating bio-inspired robots, haptic devices etc. Briefly, SDM is somewhat similar to other rapid-prototyping methods like laser sintering, fused deposition modeling, etc. However, it works with combinations of hard and soft materials and allows one to embed discrete components such as sensors and bearings in the middle of a part. The price we pay is that it is slower and requires more manual effort than commercial rapid-prototyping processes.
For those who are not at familiar with the process:
SDMOverviewAndLinks contains information describing the process and examples of parts made using SDM.
SDMFabTechniques contains pages of example parts and should be a resource to see what is possible with SDM
MaterialsInfo contains information on the various materials we have used in the past