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Western Carolina University Capabilities Summary

University:  Western Carolina University

Principal Role of WCU in the CPC: 

Through the Center for Rapid Product Realization, Western Carolina University provides engineering services including state-of-the art reverse engineering, test and rapid prototyping capability to assist the CPC member universities and companies in translating concepts to products.  Additionally, WCU provides expertise in the design, fabrication, integration and test of optical and photonics-based sensors.

Specialties at WCU:

  1. Solid Modeling and Shaping:  Create 3D Solid models using ProEngineer software to enable prototype production.  Capabilities include haptic tool shaping of native models as well as scanned models.

  2. Rapid Prototyping:  Ability to realize prototype designs of rigid or flexible parts without expensive custom machining.  Equipment includes:  Z Corp Z400 - 3-dimensional part printing; FDM Titan - fused deposition technology; and the Stratasys Eden 333 – UV plastic parts.

  3. Reverse Engineering:  Tools are used to shorten the design cycle, minimize scrap, improve fit and finish, and provide complete information on interior and exterior surfaces.  Equipment includes:  Capture 3-D white light interferometric imaging system; SmartScope Flash/Flare 200 bench top video metrology; Zeiss Contura HTG bridge-type coordinate measurement; and the ADE Phase Shift MicroXAM surface-mapping microscope. 
  4. Machining:  Provides Computer Numerical Control (CNC) as well as manual machining. Equipment includes:  Oxford DP100-5S Laser Micromachining; Haas Z40 Laser Machining; and the Haas CNC and manual machining.

  5. Sensor Design, Development, Integration and Test:  Provides subject matter expertise and experience in translating sensor requirements into compliant integrated systems.  Specialties include optical techniques for chemical and biological detection, optical signal and image processing and wireless communications for networked and integrated systems.

Resource Facts:

  1. Photonics-based square footage:  Two buildings, 28,000-square-feet with 16 laboratories.

  2. Number of FTE professors / staff:  Approximately 20

  3. Invested capital:  Approximately $12 million (facilities and equipment)

  4. External research grants:  Approximately $5M

Primary Point of Contact:  Dr. Phil Sanger, 828-227-2435, sanger@email.wcu.edu

Alternate Point of Contact:  Dr. Pat Gardner, 828-227-2162, pgardner@email.wcu.edu

Center for Rapid Product Realization:  http://rapid.wcu.edu
Western Carolina University:  http://www.wcu.edu