The Instrumentation & Model Facility (IMF) was established by
Dr. Norman Alpert in 1969. As chairman of the University of
Vermont department of Physiology, he recognized an acute need
for custom instrumentation to complete his research studies.
UVM already had several small shops on campus in engineering and
life sciences. It was Dr. Alpert's vision to create a
centralized, comprehensive instrumentation design and
fabrication facility on campus to serve all research units. He
recruited George Luhr, an instrument maker that he had worked
with in the Chicago area, to come to Vermont to lead the
facility. A grant was procured to provide a complete machine
shop, electronic instrumentation for design and fabrication, and
other related resources.
The facility was originally located in the UVM Royal Tyler Annex
and moved to its current location at 280 East Avenue in 1980.
IMF continues to serve medical school departments at UVM. In
1995, IMF purchased a CAD system, Solidworks, to digitize all
drawings for ease of design, manipulation, automation, customer
viewing, and storage. Four years later, new computerized
milling machines were purchased. In 2001, a computer-aided
manufacturing software package, CAMworks, was purchased which
provided a direct interface from the CADD software to the
computerized milling machines. Thus, a part or device designed
on CADD/CAM could be automatically produced by the mill.
Due to the increased need for volume parts and instruments to
serve start-up companies and small technology firms in Vermont,
IMF purchased a Hurco VM1 machining center - a system with
automatic tool changing capability that enables small production
runs to be accomplished efficiently.
In addition to electronics engineering, expertise in
microcontrollers, computer programming, wireless sensors, and
advanced instrument design was added in 2007.
A Objet Geometrics Polyject 3D printing system was added in
2009 for concept and physical modeling and instrument/parts