Category Archives: Research

MSE News Briefs


Yun Hang Hu, Charles and Carroll McArthur Professor in MSE, has been elected president of the Hydrogen Storage Division of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE).

Chelsea Schelly (SocSci), Gerald Anzalone (MSE), Bas Wijnen (MSE), Joshua M. Pearce (MSE/ECE). Open-source 3-D printing technologies for education: Bringing additive manufacturing to the classroom. Journal of Visual Language and Computing.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in a story “Can Open Source Really Work in Scientific Research?” published in 3D Printing Industry. Pearce co-authored – “A novel synthesis of tin oxide thin films by the sol-gel process for optoelectronic applications” for AIP Advances.
Pearce was quoted in the Washington Diplomat article “World of 3-D Printing Brings Medical Breakthroughs to Life,” pages 25–28 and also quoted in “Design and Tech Communities Confront Ethical Conundrum” in SXSWorld Magazine.

The research of Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and his group was highlighted in the article “Can We 3D Print Our Way to Sustainability,” in the Earth Island Journal.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) coauthored “Effect of ambient combinations of argon, oxygen, and hydrogen on the properties of DC magnetron sputtered indium tin oxide films” in AIP Advances.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published “Quantifying the Value of Open Source Hardware Development” in Modern Economy.
Amberlee Haselhuhn (MSE) and Bas Wijnen (MSE) and undergraduate students Eli Gooding (MSE) and Alexandra Glover (MSE) and collaborators Gerald Anzalone (MSE), Paul Sanders (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published Substrate Release Mechanisms for Gas Metal Arc 3-D Aluminum Metal Printing. in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published How to make a customizable 3D-printed corn sheller in Engineering for the Change.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was interviewed by Nautilus magazine for What to Eat After the Apocalypse.

Pearce was quoted by Accuweather in Are Solar Panels Usable in Snowy Climates?

Graduate students Jephias Gwamuri and Ben Wittbrodt (MSE) co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “Reversing the Trend of Large Scale and Centralization in Manufacturing: The Case of Distributed Manufacturing of Customizable 3-D-Printable Self-Adjustable Glasses,” which was published in the journal Challenges in Sustainability.

An article that was co-authored by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “10 Ways to Feed Ourselves After a Global Agricultural Collapse” was the top-rated article on Elsevier Connect.

Professor Lawrence Sutter (MSE) has received $40,828 from Iowa State University for a three-year research and development project titled “Technology Transfer for Jointed Concrete Pavements.”

Associate Professor Joshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) new book, “Feeding Everyone No Matter What: Managing Food Security After Global Catastrophe,” was covered by Science Daily, CNN Money, Nature World News, the Food Processing Magazine and others, including “10 Foods You Could Eat After a Global Catastrophe” by Discovery News. It was also covered extensively in the international press, including in MSN Nieuws (Dutch), N-TV (German affiliate of CNN) and Huffington Post Deutschland.

Research by PhD student Bas Wijnen (MSE) and his collaborators Jerry Anzalone (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was highlighted in Make Magazine and covered by 3D Print.

Michigan Tech’s open-source 3D printer was recently covered extensively by the international technical press, as an Australian company released a commercial metal printer based on Michigan Tech concepts, noted in the article “Metal Printing For the Consumer–The S1 From Aurora Labs“, in 3D Printer World. TU Delft University (Netherlands) also made a derivative printer using an open-source Prusa i3 RepRap, described in the article “Printing In Metal with a MIG Welder,” in Hackaday. Gizmodo, 3Ders and others have also covered this technology, and the Michigan Tech 3D printer remains on “Malaysia’s 6 Trends That Will Dominate in 2014.”

TechGen Magazine published an article about Associate Professor Joshua Pearce’s (MSE) study on what families could save by 3D printing common household objects.

The work of Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and his group was featured in “How 3D Printers Are Boosting Off-the-Grid, Underdeveloped Communities” in Motherboard.

PhD students Chenlong Zhang and Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) coauthored an article with Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “Design of Multijunction Photovoltaic Cells Optimized for Varied Atmospheric Conditions” published in the International Journal of Photoenergy.

Technology Century, an online and print publication of the Engineering Society of Detroit, featured editor Matt Roush’s interviews with faculty and graduate students from the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech, the first stop on his annual Tech Tour of university campuses in Michigan.

The work of PhD student Bas Wijnen (MSE), research scientist Jerry Anzalone (MSE) and Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on their open-source water-quality tester was featured by Hack A Day.

Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in an article, Solar 3D Printer Technology to Revolutionise Developing Countries, by BBC Capital.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in news stories about his group’s solar-powered 3D printers, which were covered extensively in the 3D printing press, 3D Print, and by technical news outlets such as CNET.

The work of PhD student Bas Wijnen (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on fair trade filament has been covered in the technology and international media, including 3D Printing Industry “Fair Trade Filament for 3D Printing, Here We Come!” and the German DRUPA in “3D Printing at Home Could Be a Green and Socially Responsible Choice.”

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in “The Road Ahead for 3-D Printers” by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) from an extensive interview they also published.

Michigan Tech’s release of an open source syringe pump library was widley covered in the technical press including Gizmodo, Gizmodo India and Gizmodo Australia: Doctors Could 3D Print Their Own Tools For a Fraction of the Cost , Motherboard: 3D Printed Syringe Pumps are Perfect for Cash Strapped Scientists and Med Device: 3D Printable Syringe Pump Design Lowers Lab Costs.

Joshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) lab was featured in “Printing a Better Community,” published in Laboratory Equipment. It was was highlighted by Open Electronics in “Building your Science Lab with Open Source.”
Pearce was also interviewed on opportunities for mechanical engineers in the solar industry in “Have You Overlooked Photovoltaics?” for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

PhD student Bas Wijnen (MSE) coauthored a paper with Jerry Anzalone (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “Open-source Mobile Water Quality Testing Platform” in the Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.

PhD students Ankit Vora (ECE) and Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), Paul Bergstrom (ECE) and Durdu Guney (ECE) titled “Multi-resonant Silver Nano-disk Patterned Thin Film Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells For Staebler-Wronski Effect Compensation,” in the “Journal of Applied Physics.”

PI Reza Shahbazian Yassar (ME-EM) and Co-PIs Yoke Kin Yap (Physics), Stephen Hackney (MSE), Tolou Shokuhfar (ME-EM) and Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics) were awarded $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation for “MRI: Acquisition of a High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope for In-Situ Microscopy Research and Education.”

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored an article “Simulations of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions from Low-Cost Hybrid Solar Photovoltaic and Cogeneration Systems for New Communities” in Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, Volume 8, pages 34-41. It is available>online

Pearce also co-authored “Towards Low-Cost Microchannel Heat Exchangers: Vehicle Heat Recovery Ventilator Prototype” in the Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics (HEFAT).

Science Just Got Cheaper (and Faster): Design Library Lets Researchers Print their Own Syringe Pumps

image113176-horizFurnishing a research lab can be pretty expensive. Now a team led by an engineer at Michigan Technological University has published an open-source library of designs that will let scientists slash the cost of one commonly used piece of equipment: the syringe pump. Syringe pumps are used to dispatch precise amounts of liquid, as for drug delivery or mixing chemicals in a reaction. They can also cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

ACMAL is a Core Facility

The Vice President for Research Office has deemed the following facilities University Core Facilities:

*Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory (ACMAL)
* Animal Care Facility
* Microfabrication Facility
* Marine Assets Facility

From Tech Today.

Formerly operated at the departmental level, ACMAL will now have access to funding opportunities available to officially recognized Core Facilities. It should allow for more expensive equipment repairs, the purchase of small equipment, and the matching of funds for major instrumentation proposals.

Learn more about the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory.

SURF Award for Morgan

This summer, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will fund 23 students from across the University with funds from the Vice President for Research and the Honors Institute. The total funding for the program this year is $80,500.

Among the recipients is Materials Science and Engineering / Mechanical Engineering major Zachary Morgan, working with Yongmei Jin on “Optimizing damping capabilities of metal matrix composites with ferroelectric barium titanate inclusions through modeling and computer simulation.”

From Tech Today.

3D Printers in April News

PlasticIn the News

Michigan Tech research in 3D printing was covered by Reason in the article “The 3D Economy.”

From Tech Today.

The 3D Economy
Forget guns, what happens when everyone prints their own shoes?

Already, according to a study authored by Michigan Technological University engineering professor Joshua Pearce and six others, there are significant economic incentives for consumers to pursue 3D printing. According to Pearce’s calculations, a person who constructs an open-source 3D printer called the RepRap at a cost of around $575 for parts can theoretically avoid paying between $290 and $1,920 a year to retailers simply by using the device to print 20 common items (iPhone case, shower curtain rings, shoe orthotics, etc.).

Read more at The 3D Economy, by Greg Beato.

UP 3DIn Print

John Irwin (SoT), Pearce (MSE/ECE) and Jerry Anzalone (MSE) coauthored “Implementing Self-Replicating Rapid Prototypers (RepRaps) into a Mechanical/Manufacturing Program,” which was published in The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) 2013 Conference Proceedings. pp. 387-406.

From Tech Today.

In the News

Pearce is quoted in Italy’s Scienze Naturali in an article about the environmental benefits of 3D printing and in 3D Printer World on how recycling milk jugs into 3D printer filament saves money and the environment.

From Tech Today.

Recycling Milk Jugs into 3D Printer Filament Saves Money and the Environment

The energy savings is only about 3 percent in urban areas, where the plastic has to travel less during the collection and recycling process.

“Where it really shows substantial savings is in smaller towns like Houghton (where Michigan Tech. is located), where you have to transport the plastic to be collected, then again to be recycled, and a third time to be made into products,” Pearce said. The energy savings is as much as 80 percent in small towns and rural areas.

Read more at 3D Printer World, by John Graber.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in the UK’s Business Reporter in an article about supply chain disruption, which is distributed with the Daily Telegraph.

Pearce was interviewed on the John and Kane Show of Indio Radio discussing open source hardware which is available online.

From Tech Today.

Will 3D printing transform the supply chain?

Joshua Pearce, a materials science and engineering professor at Michigan Technology University in the US has produced research based on the idea of a colourimeter for water testing.According to his estimates, the printable version would cost just $50, instead of $2000, and it worked just as well with raw materials that can be easily sourced in developing countries.

Read more at Business Reporter, by Natasha Clark.

John and Kane On Indio Radio- Monday 03-31-14

We talk to Dan Reus who you can find on Twitter @danreus and also at…. He has a guest who is Joshua Pearce on the phone who we will be talking to today…. Joshua is Professor at Michigan Tech and he specializes in open source technologies so we will talk to him more about that…. Very Interesting…. We also talk about 3D printing for those of you that don’t know what it is, this is so cool…. You can find Joshua at….or:

Indio Radio

Listen to the podcast interview with Joshua Pearce on Indio Radio. The segment runs from 06:18 to 26:33.

Lifting the Brakes on Fuel Efficiency

image105579-horizThe work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan’s Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi “Scott” Huang of Michigan Tech’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering helped Governor Rick Snyder promote Michigan’s automotive industry at China’s 2013 international auto parts expos. Huang’s research is the basis for his MTEC SmartZone company, LiteBrake Tech, which was one of eight companies chosen to represent Michigan automotive technology overseas.

3D Printers in March News

Open-source 3D printed parts often stronger than proprietary versions

A common criticism of home 3D printers is that whilst they can easily replicate any number of shapes and objects, and print parts that look identical to plastic prints from professional 3D printers, they can only print flimsy plastic trinkets. Are RepRap prints as strong as professional 3D printed parts using the same polymers?

“We were curious too. Our prints seemed strong, but we wanted to engineer robust scientific equipment and tools for the developing world, so we needed solid trustworthy numbers.” said Joshua Pearce, an associate professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering and Michigan Technological University.


Michigan Tech Study Suggests Some RepRap 3D Prints Are As Strong as Commercial 3D Printers

If you thought that plastic parts produced from your average RepRap desktop 3D printer were in any way weaker than those made with commercial 3D printers, you may be proven wrong. The research lab of Dr. Joshua Pearce at Michigan Technological University has once again put out a study in favour of low-cost 3D printing. After already establishing that such devices could create affordable open source lab equipment for universities, as well as save consumers $300 to $2,000 a year with the printing of common household items, Pearce’s lab has tried to demonstrate that low-cost 3D printers can print ABS and PLA parts with the same strength as those made with commercial printers.

Read more at 3D Printing Industry.

In Print

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored a paper “Photovoltaic system performance enhancement with non-tracking planar concentrators: Experimental results and BDRF based modelling,” published by the IEEE.

Graduate student Brennan Tymrak (ME), alumna Megan Kreiger (MSE) and Pearce (MSE/ECE) published Mechanical properties of components fabricated with open-source 3-D printers under realistic environmental conditions in the journal Materials and Design.

Pearce (MSE/ECE) also published Open source 3D printing allows you to print your own cheaper health devices in Conversation.

From Tech Today.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was interviewed in the Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report, Feb 2014 on Modeling and Open Source World for 3D Printing.

From Tech Today.

On the Road

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) presented an invited talk on Open Source 3D Printing at Stacking Layers: A symposium on 3D printing technologies and applications in Tallahassee, Florida, recently.

Stacking Layers Presentation
Joshua Pearce presentation begins at 04:46:00. Click the image to launch the presentation page. Choose the Tuesday presentaton link.

From Tech Today.

3D printing with metal at Michigan Technological University

3D printing has become a useful tool, but so far has been limited in the materials it can use. Michigan Tech researchers are now developing a way to print 3D objects using metal.

View the YouTube Video, by Michigan Tech.

In the News

Research completed by graduate student Brennan Tymrak (ME), alumna Megan Kreiger (MSE) and Pearce (MSE/ECE) was highlighted by 3D Printing Industry in“Michigan Tech Study Suggests Some RepRap 3D Prints Are As Strong as Commercial 3D Printers.”

The life cycle analysis research of distributed recycling by alumnae Megan Kreiger (MSE) and Meredith Mulder (MSE), current MSE student Allie Glover, and Pearce (MSE/ECE) was covered extensively by the media including CNN/MoneyYahoo News and Ars Technica.

From Tech Today.

Michigan Tech Study Suggests Some RepRap 3D Prints Are As Strong as Commercial 3D Printers

If you thought that plastic parts produced from your average RepRap desktop 3D printer were in any way weaker than those made with commercial 3D printers, you may be proven wrong. The research lab of Dr. Joshua Pearce at Michigan Technological University has once again put out a study in favour of low-cost 3D printing.

There’s still a great deal of research ahead of the team, to further elucidate the properties of objects printed with low-cost 3D printers, such as the effects of chemical post-processing on the strength of a print. Pearce explains, “This study only looked at the tensile strength in the plane of the print bed, next we need to expand this study to look at interlayer adhesion.”

Read more at 3D Printing Industry, by Michael Molitch-Hou.

Milk Jug
Milk Jug

In the News

CBS Detroit and its Technology Report published an article about Associate Professor Joshua Pearce’s (MSE) work using recycled milk jugs for 3D printing material. See CBS Detroit.

From Tech Today.

In the News

Research completed by graduate student Brennan Tymrak (ME), alumna Megan Kreiger (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was highlighted in the EE Times article“Measuring Open Source Hardware 3D-Printed Material Strength.”

Pearce was also interviewed about how 3D printing is environmentally green on Living on Earth–PRI’s Environmental News Magazine.

Professor Paul Sanders (MSE) and Pearce were interviewed on ABC10.

From Tech Today.

3-D Printing is Green

CURWOOD: Back before the industrial revolution, if you needed some thing, you or someone else would make it by hand. Then along came the production line and big machines that could mass produce items quickly and cheaply. And now we are headed back to future with so-called 3D printing, where a fairly small machine can make just about any metal or plastic object simply by following precise instructions from a computer. A team at Michigan Technological University has studied the possible environmental and the financial benefits of 3D printing. Joshua Pearce led the research and explains the surprising results.

Read the transcript or listen to the audio stream/download at Living on Earth, with Steve Curwood and Joshua Pearce.

Michigan Tech creates 3-D printer

“What our group has done hear at Michigan Tech is radically pushed the cost of 3-D printers down. So commercial 3-D printers that could do plastic used to cost $20,000. Now with the Open Source project, that cost has come under $1,000 and the ones we are building with our students cost under $500,” Materials Science and Engineering Associate Professor Dr. Joshua Pearce said.

Assistant Professor Paul Sanders said when he heard about 3-D printing with plastic, he questioned if it could be done with metal.

“This is essentially welding but it’s different because instead of joining two big pieces of metal, we’re making everything out of the weld wire itself,” he said.

Read more and watch the video at ABC 10, WBUP | WBKP.

Paul Sanders ABC10 3D

In the News

Pearce was also interviewed by 3D Printing Industry in the article “3D Printing Plastic — Distributed Recycling and Distributing the Benefits.”

Michigan Tech’s 3D-printing program was highlighted in The Conversation article“Researchers can be ‘digital blacksmiths’ with 3D printers.”

From Tech Today.

America Makes – Michigan Tech Low Cost 3D Metal Printer

America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. They focused on 3D metal printing initiatives at Michigan Tech in the new video “America Makes Moment.” Several people from Michigan Tech were interviewed, including President Glenn Mroz, Associate Professor Joshua Pearce, and Mark Bonefant, Instructor of CAD & Woodworking, Calumet High School. Featured were several students, instructors, and researchers, including Assistant Professor Paul Sanders.

Watch the YouTube Video, hosted by Rob Gorham, Deputy Directory of Technology Development at America Makes.

Rob Gorham
Rob Gorham
Glenn Mroz
Glenn Mroz
Joshua Pearce
Joshua Pearce
3D Printer
3D Printer
PhD Student
PhD Student
Mark Bonefant
Mark Bonefant
Rob Gorham and Paul Sanders
Rob Gorham and Paul Sanders