Scientifc Mechanical Engineering Facility
The requirements for experimental work at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization are versatile and very demanding. They require the highest quality in mechanical engineering from design and verification/certification to construction. The sizes of mechanical parts employed in the scientific experiments range from micrometers to many meters. They are used in various environments from the laboratory, to mount Zugspitze, and on research vessels like the Maria S. Merian. Parts are uniquely designed and manufactured for highly specialized experiments. Designs are conducted by the mechanical engineer, who heads the facility, in tight collaboration with the scientists. CAD 3D construction software is used not only to construct and develop the parts but also to conduct Finite Element Structural Analysis. The components created in the designs are then processed quickly, flexibly, and with high quality in the mechanical workshop according to the drawings or directly from the CAD design data with the help of a CAM interface. With a simulation integrated in the CAM software, potential errors occurring during the production process can be detected and eliminated before the actual part is machined. In addition, the 3D-CAD output can be used in scientific presentations and publications.
Many of the unique experiments employ automated, integrated, computer-controlled systems. Very often, actuators, sensors, etc. with the associated control and testing devices are integrated into the mechanical components. In close cooperation with the Scientific Electronics Facility, the mechanical constructions are finetuned with the electronics.
Mechanical production is accomplished with computerized turning, milling, grinding, 3D printing, and other machines which cover the full area of precision mechanics. In order to produce precision parts with geometrically complex shapes, we have 5D-milling machines and 3D-printers.
The training of apprentices has also been an important part of the work of the facility from the very beginning. In the last ten years, our trainees have passed these examinations with distinction.