The Additive Manufacturing and Prototyping Facility (AMPF) works to establish Stanford’s leadership in the future of manufacturing by creating a space where faculty, students, and budding entrepreneurs can see their ideas – even those nascent ideas sketched on a napkin – realized as finished and functioning products, rather than the typical, barely functioning, plastic prototypes. This space empowers faculty and students to not only push the frontiers of digital manufacturing techniques – how to make things inspired by addressing real world product design needs that come through our door – but where we also turn ideas into market-ready products. 

AMPF distinguishes itself through its focus on the needs of Stanford faculty, staff, and students, and its relevance for technologies specific to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Investigators are able to utilize new additive manufacturing (AM) fabrication techniques incorporating digital modeling tools along with actual printing technology. Teaching these tools enables users to unleash geometries previously unthinkable, and to stretch design capabilities and imaginations for finding creative solutions to entrenched problems. Printing experimental, cutting-edge geometries, researchers can test and validate their designs at the speed of thought, cutting out long lead times from machine shops and tooling costs for injection molded parts. We encourage the culture of thinking by doing, and enable researchers to design, prototype, test, and iterate quickly through the power of AM. AMPF also provides online, asynchronous training specifically designed to educate users in a layered way allowing the proposed education platform to be scaled cost-effectively.  

Additionally, the facilities address unmet needs in microfabrication (e.g., microneedles in medicine, polymeric medical devices, wearables, diagnostics, drug delivery, packaging for new microelectronic chip designs). Soon, the facility will also include a dedicated space and AM equipment for printing medical devices for clinical translation, a capability that is not yet available at Stanford. In collaboration with the 3DQ Lab, AMPF will leverage their knowhow in image reconstruction with AMPF’s capability to provide equipment and the FDA required Quality System needed for IRB approvals for translating into human studies. By investing in this capability within AMPF, we believe that front-line healthcare workers will be positioned to drive new technology for unmet clinical needs. AM printing has the unique ability to quickly adapt to bespoke patient specific needs and physician requests, and the time from design to print can be significantly reduced by providing direct access to printing medical devices for clinical research, clinical trials, and clinical care allowing for rapid translation.  

As described, our offerings in additive manufacturing build upon, and are highly synergistic to, the existing facility landscape at Stanford and provide a new and unique capability on Stanford’s campus, allowing for research innovation and product realization only possible by additive manufacturing.  

Programmatically AMPF is a shared resource as part of the Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics (PHIND) Center and is managed by Roger Wise under the leadership of Joseph M. DeSimone, the Sanjiv Sam Gambhir Professor of Translational Medicine and Chemical Engineering.  AMPF was launched with the funds provided by a C-ShARP grant, awarded to Dr. DeSimone for this specific use.