Northwestern University Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Advanced Manufacturing Processes Laboratory



  1. Cao, J. and Kinsey, B., ‘Adaptive Method and Apparatus for Forming Tailor Welded Blank’, U.S. Patent No. 5,941,110, August 24, 1999.

  2. Cao, J., Lee, J.H. and Peshkin, M., ‘Real-time Draw-in Sensors and Methods of Fabrication’, U.S. Patent No. 6,769,280, August 3, 2004.

  3. Cao, J., Swanson, A. and Davis, T. “Microforming Method and Apparatus,” US Patent No 8,408,039 B2, April 2, 2013.

  4. Smith, K. S., Woody, B., Ziegert, J. and Cao, J. ‘Deformation Machining – A Hybrid Process’, US Patent No. 8,545,142, Oct. 1, 2013.

  5. Roth, J. and Cao, J. “Electrical-assisted Double Side Incremental Forming and Processes Thereof”, US Patent No. 8,741,079 B2, June 3, 2014.

  6. Cao, J., Zhou, R. and Ehmann, K “Desktop deformation-based micro surface texturing system”, US Patent No. 8,905,748 B2, December 9, 2014.

  7. Grzina, D. Rajesh, T., Cao, J., Wang, Q., Xia, Z. C., Ling, T.D., Liu, P. “Cutting Tools with Textured Surfaces,” US Patent No. 9,144,845, September 29, 2015.

  8. Malhotra, R. and Cao, J. “System and Method for Accumulative Double Sided Incremental Forming”, US Patent No. 9,168,580, October 27, 2015.

  9. Beltran, M., Cao, J. and Roth, J. “System and Method for Incremental Forming”, US Patent No. 9,221,091 B2, Dec. 29, 2015; US Patent No. 10,913,100, February 9, 2021.

  10. Zeng, Q., Ehmann, K.F. and Cao, J. “Tri-pyramid Robot: a novel 3-DOF translational parallel manipulator”, No. 9,283,671 B2, March 15, 2016; US Patent No. 10,583,552, March 10, 2020.

  11. Xia, Z. C., Cao, J., Wang, Q., Rajesh, T., Grzina, D., Ling, T.D., Liu, P. “Forming Tools having Textured Surfaces”, US Patent No. 9,321,090 B2, April 26, 2016.

  12. Pallav, K., Malhotra, R., Saxena, I. Ehmann, K.F. and Cao, J “Laser Induced Plasma Micromachining (LIPMM)”, US Patent No. 9,455,127 B2, Sept. 27, 2016; US Patent No. 10,692,700, June 23, 2020.

  13. Gao, R.X., Fan, Z. and Cao, J. “Methods and Apparatus for Monitoring Microrolling Processes Using Embedded Sensing”, US Patent No. 9,500,540, November 22, 2016.

  14. Cao, J., Zhou, R. and Ehmann, K “Desktop deformation-based micro surface texturing system”, US Patent No. 9,688,015 B2, June 27, 2017, division of 8,905,748.

  15. Yao, Y.W., Wang, X., Ulmer, M. and Cao, J. “Stress manipulated coating for figure reshape of optical substrates”, US Patent No. 9,864,105 B2, Jan. 9, 2018; Divisional US Patent No. 10,274,644 B2, April 30, 2019.

  16. Cao, J. and Roth, J. “Apparatus for Electrical-Assisted Incremental Forming and Process Thereof”, US Patent No. 9,951,397, April 24, 2018.

  17. Ndip-Agbor, E. E. and Cao, J. “An Automated Toolpath Generation Method for Double Sided Incremental forming of Three Dimensional Freeform Shapes from Sheets”, US Patent No. 10,162,329, December 25, 2018.

  18. Zeng, Q., Ehmann, K., Ng, M.K. and Cao, J. “Incremental rotary rolling mill and method’, US Patent No. 11,077,477 B2, August 3, 2021.

  19. Cao, J. Chen, J. Ehmann, K. and Zhang, H. “Method and Apparatus for Double-sided Incremental Flanging”, No. 16/613,885, Nov. 15, 2019.


  1. Bennett, J., Cao, J. and Ehmann, K.F. “Systems and Methods for Global Thermal Control of Additive Manufacturing”, 16/223,534, Dec. 18, 2017.

  2. Yao, Y., Prieto, N.M., Machado, C., Cao, J. and Park, K.C. “Self-healing, Hydrophobic Composites and related Methods”, 17/057,805, Nov. 23, 2020.

  3. Ren, H.Q., Xie, J., Liao, S., Leem, D., Cao, J. and Ehmann, K.F. “In-situ Springback Compensation in Incremental Sheet Forming”, WO 2020/168211 A1, US 62/805759, August 20, 2020.

  4. Kung, H.H., Park, K.C.K., Cao, J., Patankar, N.A., Ehmann, K.F., Bhandari, S., Machado, C.J., Jiang, Z., Zhao, T.Y. and Urgun-demirtas, M. “Foulant resistant surfaces for phase change heat” 18/061,048, June 8, 2023

  5. Solomon, J. L., Wang, H. P., Blaski, B. J., Vasquez, V., Huang, L., Leem, D., & Cao, J. “Systems and methods for evaluating rigidity of angle bracket.” 17/538,560. June 1, 2023

  6. Rout, S. K., Cao, J., & Bisram, M. R. "Systems and Methods for Dieless Composite Forming." 18/134,868, December 21, 2023.