Major Instruments

Featured below are selected key equipment of the FAMES Lab.

Specialty Fiber Draw Tower (Optogear OG-510 D) – 26 ft. high setup for thermal drawing of specialty fibers. Thermal drawing is the process familiar from fabrication of optical communication fiber. In this process, a glassy rod – the preform – is fed into a furnace from its top, where it is heated to become a viscose liquid and is drawn into a fiber from the bottom of the furnace, like a taffy candy.

The draw tower at FAMES Lab is a double sided setup with two independent draw lines equipped with thee furnaces: for fused silica, soft glasses, and polymers. Temperature range – room temperature to 2500 oC (4532 oF). Accepts preforms of up to 50 mm (1.97”) thick, and produces high-quality fiber at a rate of up to 100 m/min (328 ft/min).

Draw Tower

Glass Working Lathe (Optogear OG-440) – a setup for silica glass fiber preform fabrication. Capable of scaling and collapsing glass tubes at a controllable rate, and seal core materials within the preform at high vacuum (10-5 mbar) using hydrogen-oxygen burners and turbo-pump vacuum system. Temperature range - 1000 - 2500 oC (1832 - 4532 oF), heat capacity – 35 to 40 kW (120,000 to 137,000 BTU/h).

Glass Lathe

Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) Hot Press (AGUS-PECS SS-250Rx) – in SPS RF current is passed through a powder compact. The heat is generated mainly at the boundaries between powder grains, due to an increased impedance there, allowing compacting the powder without melting the grains, in contrast to the conventional hot pressing. This preserves size- and structure-dependent properties of the individual nanoparticles. Due to very high heating / cooling rate (up to 1000 K/min), sintering of a sample takes only a few minutes. SPS is a preferred method for preparation of ceramics based on nanoparticles with enhanced magnetic, magnetoelectric, piezoelectric, thermoelectric, optical or biomedical properties. Allows sintering nanotubes / nanowires without destroying their structure, and sintering materials with dissimilar melting points into the same compact.

FAMES Lab SPS provides sintering load of 2 to 250 kN (450 to 56,202 lbf), operation temperature – room to 2500 oC (4532 oF). Maximal sample height – 30mm, maximal sample diameter depends on processing temperature: for high temperature materials (up to 2500 oC (4532 oF)) – 30 mm (1.18”), semiconductors (up to 1500 oC (2732 oF)) – 60 mm (2.36”), borosilicates (up to 700 oC (1292 oF)) – 100 mm (3.94”), polymers (up to 300 oC (572 oF)) – 100 mm (3.94”).


Production-grade Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D Printer (Stratasys Fortus 450mc) – thermoplastic-extrusion industrial printer with build envelope of 406 x 355 x 406 mm [16 x 14 x 16 in.]. I addition to standard thermoplastics, such as ABS, Ultem, FDM Nylon, ASA, PC, ASA, and ST-130, can optionally run high-performance thermoplastics for specialized production parts in fields such as medical, aerospace, research and defense. Our machine is currently set to run a translucent natural PC-ISO (biocompatible grade, for pharmaceutical, food packaging and medical applications) with soluble supports at 0.127 mm (0.005 in.) resolution.

Fortus 450mc

Research-grade Binder Jetting (BJ) 3D printer (ExOne Innovent+) – BJ is an additive manufacturing process in which a liquid binding agent is selectively deposited to join powder particles. Layers of material are then bonded to form an object. The printhead strategically drops binder into the powder. The job box lowers and another layer of powder is then spread and binder is added. Over time, the part develops through the layering of powder and binder. Binder Jetting is similar to traditional paper printing. The binder functions like the ink as it moves across the layers of powder, which like paper, forms the final product. Binder Jetting is capable of printing a variety of materials including metals, sands and ceramics. The resulting prints are typically cured to debind, and sintered to reduce porosity.

Our printer has a print volume of 160 x 65 x 65 mm (6.3 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches). It is equipped with 30 pico-liter voxel print head, and ultrasonically agitated re-coater, allowing printing successfully even powders with diminished flow properties and tendency to agglomerate, while minimizing pluming.


Bioprinter (Cellink BioX) - 3D bioprinting enables the generation of precisely controlled 3D cell models and tissue constructs, by engineering anatomically-shaped substrates with tissue-like complexity. 3D bioprinting has the potential to solve many critical unmet needs in medical research, including applications in cosmetics testing, drug discovery, regenerative medicine, and functional organ replacement. A range of materials, methods, and cells can be used to yield the desired tissue construct.

Cellink BioX allows printing thermoplastics as well as UV-curable and thermoset bioinks in jetting and continuous extrusion mode. Bioinks are hydrogel suspensions containing living cells and biomaterials that mimic the extracellular matrix environment, supporting cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation after printing. 

Bio X

Video: Manufacturing-level testing of the draw tower by drawing a silica glass fiber.

List of equipment by location

Here follows a complete list of the resources available at the facility.


Manufacturer / model


Specialty Fiber Draw Tower

Optogear Inc., model OG-510 D

Thermal draw of polymer, soft glass an silica specialty fibers


Manufacturer / model


Polypropylene fumehood


Hydrofluoric acid silica glass etching for preform fabrication

Explosion and flame protected walk-in fumehood


Chalcogenide glass synthesis and manual butane-oxygen torch processing

Rocking tube furnace



Chalcogenide glass synthesis, up to 1200 0C

Glass working lathe

Optogear Inc., model OG-440

Fabrication of silica fiber preforms

Deposition evaporator

Victory Inc.

Deposition of chalcogenides, organic semiconductors


Manufacturer / model


Vacuum oven

Fisherbrand™ Isotemp™ Model 282A

Polymer backing out and storage

4’ fumehood


General use

6’ fumehood


Polymer processing

Vacuum oven

Across International

Polymer sintering

Drying oven


Debinding of ExOne Innovent+ prints

Muffle furnace


Across International

12” x 12” x 16” chamber, up to 1700 0C, for large volume high temperature sintering

Spark plasma sintering (SPS) hot press

CalNano (AGUS-PECS SS-250Rx)

Nanocomposite and dissimilar materials densification without grain melting




With freezer and two heated antechambers for storage of semiconductors and biomaterials in inert environment

Biosafety cabinet Class II Type A2, 6’ wide, extra deep


For incorporation of cell culture into bioinks, fabrication of preforms in extra-clean environment



Cellink Bio X

Bioink 3D printing of tissues

Fluorescent microscope


Bioprints and cell culture metrics

Cryogenic chest freezer

Thermo Fisher Scientific Revco Ultima II -150°C

Cell culture storage

Carbon dioxide incubator

Thermo Fisher Scientific Forma™ Steri-Cycle™ i160

Cell culture


Thermo Fisher Scientific Sorvall ST 16

Bioink processing


Manufacturer / model


Two general use 4’-wide fumehoods


Processing of epoxies and print resins, and for containing extrusion printers with hazardous volatiles

Large scale professional thermoplastic extrusion printer

Stratasys Fortus 450 mc 3D Production System

Printing translucent polycarbonate fiber preforms

Binder jetting printer

ExOne Innovent+

Printing fiber preform components in powdered materials, such as glass, semiconductors, metals

Stereolithographic printer

Form 2


Impregnation unit

CitoVac Struers

Epoxy-embedding of fiber samples

Polishing station

Tegramin 25 Struers

Polishing of epoxy-embedded samples for SEM measurements

Glass saw

Labotom 5 Struers

Dissection of preforms

Dry ice gun

Cold Jet i3Microclean

Abrasive cleaning and polishing of chalcogenide evaporator drum and ExOne Innovent+ prints

Sand blasting glovebox

Econoline 36-1 Super

Abrasive cleaning and polishing of chalcogenide evaporator drum and ExOne Innovent+ prints


Manufacturer / model


Optical table

TMC Inc.


Custom-built tapering setup

LG Metalworks (Bloomington, IN), FAMES Lab (IUB-SICE-ISE)

Fiber post processing, such as axial patterning by capillary breakup


Manufacturer / model


L-shaped optical table

TMC Inc.


High-end optical inspection microscope with phase contrast and DIC

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Inspection of fiber samples with high resolution and contrast, including detection of stresses.

Optical profilometer

Beam Gauge Ophir

Laser beam profile measurements

Optical spectrometer



Large area thermopile detector + powermeter console




Manufacturer / model



Intelitek BenchMill 6100


Comsol and Solidworks station


CAD design and numerical simulations

Two workbenches with general equipment and soldering stations