Matthew Frank

  • Associate Professor
  • Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Main Office

3023 Black Engr
Ames, IA 50011-2164
Phone: 515-294-0389
Fax: 515-294-3524


  • PhD, Pennsylvania State University, Industrial Engineering, 2003
  • MS, Pennsylvania State University, Mechanical Engineering, 1998
  • BS, Pennsylvania State University, Mechanical Engineering, 1996
Curriculum Vitae

Interest Areas

Dr. Frank’s research focuses on creating new methods for rapid manufacturing that can create functional parts at nearly the push of a button. The major goal of the research is to eliminate the pre-process engineering time and skill required to create a custom component. Therefore, the term rapid means fast and easy process planning, fixture planning and setup planning for making one, or several functional parts.  A particular focus of Dr. Frank’s research is on Hybrid Manufacturing, which is a combination of Additive Manufacturing (e.g. 3D printing) and Subtractive Manufacturing (e.g. CNC machining).   His work has been applied to the manufacturing of industrial components, rapid pattern tooling for metal castings, and even custom bone implants.  More recently, his lab is re-deploying some of the process planning algorithms into new Design for Manufacturability (DfM) software solutions.  He has received the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, the Don Grant Award for Excellence in Teaching, and currently holds two US Patents. For more information on Rapid Manufacturing see the lab web page: The Rapid Manufacturing and Prototyping Laboratory (RMPL)

Selected Publications

  1. Frank, M.C. , Wysk, R.A., and Joshi, S.B., “Rapid Planning for CNC Machining – A New Approach to Rapid Prototyping”, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, SME, Volume 23, No. 3, pp. 242-255, 2004, []
  2. Frank, M.C., Wysk, R.A., and Joshi, S.B., “Determining Setup Orientations from the Visibility of Slice Geometry for Rapid CNC Machining”, Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME, Vol. 128, No. 1, pp. 228-238, 2006 []
  3. Li, Y.  and Frank, M.C., “Machinability Analysis for 3-axis Flat End Milling”, Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME, Vol. 128, No. 2, pp. 454-464, 2006, []
  4. Li, Y.  and Frank, M.C., “Computing Non-Visibility of Convex Polygonal Facets on the Surface of a Polyhedral CAD Model”, Computer Aided Design, Vol. 39, No. 9, pp. 732-744, 2007, []
  5. Boonsuk, W.  and Frank, M.C., “Automated fixturing for a rapid machining system”, Rapid Prototyping Journal Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 111-125, 2009 []
  6. Yang, Z., Wysk, R.A., Joshi, S.B. , Frank, M.C., Petrzelka, J.E. , “Conventional Machining Methods for Rapid Prototyping and Direct Manufacturing”, International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 41-64, 2009 []
  7. Luo, X.  and Frank, M.C., “A Layer Thickness Algorithm for Additive/Subtractive Rapid Manufacturing”, Rapid Prototyping Journal Vol.16, No. 2, pp. 100-115, 2009 []
  8. Petrzelka, J.E. , Frank, M.C., “Advanced Process Planning for Subtractive Rapid Prototyping”, Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 216-224, 2010 []
  9. Makhe, A. and Frank, M.C., “Polygon Subdivision for Pocket Machining Process Planning”, Computers and Industrial Engineering, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 709-716, 2010 []
  10. Thomas, T.P., Anderson, D.D., Willis, A.R., Liu, P., Frank, M.C., Marsh, J.L., and Brown, T.D., “A Computational/Experimental Platform for Investigating Three-Dimensional Puzzle Solving of Comminuted Articular Fractures”,  Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 263-270, 2011 []
  11. Anderson DD, Thomas TP, Frank M.C., Marsh JL, Brown TD. On the Horizon from the ORS: “Assessing and minimizing the adverse mechanical consequences of articular fractures to decrease the risk for posttraumatic osteoarthritis”. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2011;19(10):644-646  []
  12. Li, Y. and Frank, M.C., “Computing Axes of Rotation for Setup Planning Using Visibility of Polyhedral CAD Models”, Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME, Vol. 134, pp 041005(1-10), 2012  [doi:10.1115/1.4006969]
  13. Luo, X. , Li, Y. , and Frank, M.C., “A Finishing Cutter Selection Algorithm for Additive/Subtractive Rapid Pattern Manufacturing”, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol 69, pp. 2041-2053, 2013 []
  14. Lei, S., Frank, M.C., Anderson, D.D., and Brown, T.D., “A Method to Represent Heterogeneous Materials for Rapid Prototyping – The Matryoshka Approach”, Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 20, Issue 5, 2014
  15. Abdel-All, E. , Frank M.C., and I. Rivero, “Rapid Tooling Using Friction Stir Welding and Machining”, Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol 23, issue 1, pp. 81-95, 2017 []
  16. Zhu, S., Magnussen, C.J. , Judd, E., Frank M.C., and Peters, F.E., “Automated Composite Fabric Layup for Wind Turbine Blades”, Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Vol 139, No. 6, 061001, 2017,  [doi:10.1115/1.4035004 ]
  17. Eldakroury, M.A., Chen, N., and Frank, M.C., “A New Method for Locating Candidate Substrates for Multi Axis Hybrid Manufacturing Systems”, Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp 237-248, 10.1108/RPJ-12-2016-0213, 2018
  18. Hou, G., and Frank, M.C., “Computing the Global Visibility Map Using Slice Geometry for Setup Planning”, Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME, Vol. 139, No. 8, 081006, 2017, [doi:10.1115/1.4036423]
  19. Hoefer M.J.  and Frank, M.C., “Automated Manufacturing Process Selection During Conceptual Design” Journal of Mechanical Design, Transaction of the ASME, 140 (3), 031701, 2018
  20. Abdel-All, E. , Frank M.C., and Stone, R.T., “A study of design fixation related to Additive Manufacturing”  Journal of Mechanical Design, Transaction of the ASME, 140 (4), 041702, 2018

IMSE Courses Taught

  • IE 101 The Industrial Engineering Profession
  • IE 248 Engineering System Design, Manufacturing Processes and Specifications
  • IE 432 Industrial Automation
  • IE 449/549 CAD/CAM for Manufacturing
  • IE 545 Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing