Research groups across UW-Madison leverage additive technology for a variety of clinical and research 3D printing applications. From biomedical, prototyping, and design to veterinary medicine, additive manufacturing is a common link that connects many disciplines.

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Alloy Design and Development Laboratories

The Alloy Design and Development Laboratories are a transdisciplinary research facility providing collaborative space for industry parters and researchers from across campus in the area of metal additive manufacturing. With research focusing on fundamental science coordinated to solve problems, the labs act as a test facility to develop programs through funding agencies, industry and national labs. These state-of-the-art labs support experimental and theoretical evaluation of novel design schemes in metal additive units, enable validation of scientific and technological designs as well as the physical models required for tailored synthesis, and permit new science, collaborations and innovations.

Biomechatronics, Assistive Devices, Gait Engineering and Rehabilitation Laboratory

The UW BADGER Lab leverages 3D printing for device development and prototyping, with a focus on prosthetics, sensors and robotic aids to assist patients who have experienced impairment or loss of function.

Boydston Research Group

The Boydston Research Group specializes in synthetic polymers, hotoredox catalysis, and polymer mechanochemistry while integrating 3D printing for polymer chemistry. The group focuses on designing stimuli-responsive materials, chemical processes and structure-function relationships for interdisciplinary applications in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and biological engineering.


Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

By leveraging data science, medical imaging and additive manufacturing, The UW Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Laboratory studies fluid dynamics to develop new techniques for diagnosis and surgical planning. Researchers use medical imaging to create patient-specific models which are then 3D printed and studied by a patient’s physicians and surgeons in advance of surgery. The lab also studies fluid properties to create simulated surgeries that are validated using computational models.

Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory

A multidisciplinary research group, the Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory works with engineers to solve orthopedic problems in animals and humans. The lab leverages 3D printing technology to create life-size bone models used in planning and rehearsing surgical corrections of bone deformities in dogs. This research has direct clinical application to patients at the UW Veterinary Care facility.

Computational Design and Manufacturing Laboratory

The Computational Design and Manufacturing Lab researches automation of manufacturing and design processes. Lab members study multi-physics topology optimization, isogeometric analysis on triangulations, and statistical shape modeling to develop computer methods to automate these processes.

Engineering Representations and Simulation Laboratory

By studying design for additive manufacturing, high-performance computing and topology optimization, the Engineering Representations and Simulation Lab (ERSL)seeks to examine and improve upon current 3D printing practices and applications. In addition, lab members have made several groundbreaking advances in the field of finite element analysis.

Garage Physics

The Garage Physics Lab is a public makerspace that provides learning opportunities and equipment resources for UW-Madison students. In addition to workshops and mini-classes in CAD, 3D printing, and more, the lab staff provide hands-on equipment training. From basic science to exploring gadgets and art projects, the Garage is a place for students to explore new ideas and find new passions.

Manufacturing and Mechanics Laboratory

The Manufacturing and Mechanics Lab aims to study the strength of additively manufactured materials using computational modeling. Researchers also investigate properties of reinforced polymer composites and modeling of thermal shock for a variety of industrial applications.

Mechanical Engineering Fab Lab

The Mechanical Engineering 3D Printing Lab offers training for basic 3D printer operation, as well as access to 3D printers.


Medical Engineering Fabrication Laboratory

Researchers in the Medical Engineering Fab Lab study 3D printing applications for veterinary radiobiology, custom prosthetics, and biomedical devices. Scientists in the lab also research and develop new biomedical visualization techniques. This lab assists students, faculty, and external collaborators with development of prototypes and research tools.

Multiscale Metal Manufacturing Processes Lab (M3PL)

The Multiscale Metal Manufacturing Processes Lab is conducting research on laser finishing of metal additive manufactured components to improve surface roughness and mechanical properties. The lab is investigating the process of mechanically-generating powder for metal additive manufacturing: i.e., creating powder without the need to melt it. The goal is to enable a closed-cycle remanufacturing process chain where the damaged part is turned into powder, and that powder is used to print a repair. The lab is also conducting research on solid-state metal additive manufacturing: (1) friction surfacing to repair cracks in stainless steel canisters and (2) additive friction stir to produce large-scale metal parts without melting. The result is a fully dense material with minimal residual stresses. Avoiding the need to melt material to print the product makes it possible to print almost any metal alloy.

Polymer Engineering Center

Scientists in The Polymer Engineering Center research plastics and plastic/metal composites, bio-based polymers, additive manufacturing processes, and tools for design and manufacturing. The lab’s research includes a focus on manufacture of cell and tissue-based products for medical therapies.