Press Releases

Jan 1, 2015   WMU International News

Degree Research Evolves into New Company

Dr. Deepak Ravindra became a business owner at the same time he completed his Western Michigan University doctoral degree through a unique collaboration with a faculty researcher focused on developing methods to cut extremely hard and brittle materials. Ravindra worked with Dr. John Patten, former chair of WMU's manufacturing engineering department, to launch Micro-Laser Assisted Machining Technologies, LLC in July 2012. The new technology they have developed utilizes a diamond cutting tool capable of focusing gigawatts of laser power onto a concentrated surface to soften the material so a diamond can easily cut it.

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Oct 19, 2012   CBS Detroit

Tech Tour day Eight: Western's Got Wings!

After a world-class omelet it was off to WMU’s Parkview Campus to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, to visit a true engineering renaissance man, John Patten, chair of WMU’s manufacturing engineering department. Patten and a recent WMU Ph.D. graduate, Deepak Ravindra, have developed a method to machine extremely hard and brittle materials that previously couldn’t be machined. They take a powerful laser and shine it through an optically transparent cutting tool. The diamond cutting tool focuses the laser’s power, softening the material so the diamond can cut it. Ravindra said the technology concentrates gigawatts of power on a tiny spot out of a 100-watt laser.

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October 14, 2012   MiBiz

Four West Mich. Firms vie for accelerate Michigan prize

Micro LAM is the brainchild of John Patten, Ph. D., the chair of the manufacturing engineering department at Western Michigan University. The company, operated by Deepak Ravindra, Ph.D., its chief technical officer, is based at WMU’s Business Technology and Research Park. The company also has a second office in Battle Creek. Micro LAM’s patent-pending technology uses a laser source coupled to a diamond cutting tool to thermally heat and soften hard and brittle materials to render them more ductile, easier to machine and fabricate — in the process reducing tool wear — all of which leads to higher productivity in the manufacturing process.

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July, 2012   Cutting Tool Engineering

Shine a Light

Machining hard materials is hard. There are numerous issues when turning, grinding and lapping hard, brittle materials, such as silicon, ceramics and glass, using conventional single-crystal diamond tools. Those issues include the formation of cracks and fractures in the workpiece, high tool wear, inaccuracy of the machined form and long cycle times, according to Dr. John Patten, director of the Western Michigan University Manufacturing Research Center. To commercialize an alternative hard-material turning process developed at WMU, Patten and Dr. Deepak Ravindra, a senior research associate and postdoctoral fellow at the university, founded Micro-Laser Assisted Machining Technologies LLC.

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May 31, 2012   The Wall Street Journal

Boot camp helps scientists pitch their research outside the lab

Silicon Valley is crawling with Internet entrepreneurs who boldly ask for money and proclaim that theirs is the next billion-dollar company. Yet scientists developing technology that might form the basis for a start-up have a tendency to conduct conversations looking at their shoes. A program at Stanford University, which launched last July, “teaches them to make eye contact,” says Steve Blank, a Stanford consulting associate professor and a retired entrepreneur who has helped develop ways to train scientists to break out of their comfort zone in the laboratory.

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May 30, 2012   MiBiz

WMU Researchers spearhead new tech in manufacturing

The commercialization of a new manufacturing innovation resulting from years of research at Western Michigan University has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for companies across the globe. Dr. John Patten, director of the WMU Manufacturing Research Center, and Dr. Deepak Ravindra, a senior research associate, are the developers behind a new Micro-LAM (Laser Assisted Machining) process, which uses high pressure generated by diamond cutting tools with an intense and focused laser to cut hard, brittle objects such as glass, ceramics, semiconductors and other materials.

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May 3, 2012   WMU News

New technology developed at WMu to have huge industry impact

A new, high-tech device that generates intense pressure combined with heat to cut hard and brittle materials has been developed by Western Michigan University researchers and could soon have a huge commercial impact on the machining of difficult-to-machine engineered components. The technological breakthrough, spearheaded byDr. John Patten, director of the WMU Manufacturing Research Center, and senior research associate and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Deepak Ravindra, uses high pressures generated by diamond cutting tools, along with intense and focused laser beam, to cut hard, brittle objects, such as glass, ceramics, semiconductors, porcelain, stone and much more.

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May 3, 2012   mLIVE

Cutting Device by WMU to revolutionize machining

Two Western Michigan University researchers have developed a device that uses pressure and heat – rather than tooled systems — to cut hard and brittle materials such as ceramics, glass, porcelain, semiconductors and stone. It is new technology they hope will revolutionize the processing and manufacturing of brittle materials, and drastically reduce the time and cost needed to make everything from semiconductors to optical mirrors. Ph.D. researchers John Patten, director of the WMU Manufacturing Research Center, and senior research associate and post-doctoral fellow Deepak Ravindra, have developed a Micro-LAM process that uses intensely focused heat from a laser source to generate temperatures above 1,000 degrees centigrade, and pressure in excess of 100 GPa at a cutting point that is about one-tenth the size of a human hair, according to information provided by WMU.

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May 3, 2012   CBS Detroit

New WMU device a cut above for hard, brittle materials

A new, high-tech device that generates intense pressure combined with heat to cut hard and brittle materials has been developed by Western Michigan University researchers and could soon have a huge commercial impact on the machining of difficult-to-machine engineered components. The technological breakthrough, spearheaded byDr. John Patten, director of the WMU Manufacturing Research Center, and senior research associate and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Deepak Ravindra, uses high pressures generated by diamond cutting tools, along with intense and focused laser beam, to cut hard, brittle objects, such as glass, ceramics, semiconductors, porcelain, stone and much more.

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