Joshua Pearce

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3-D Printing Could Offer Savings On Replica Lab Kit

Working replicas of expensive scientific equipment could be made for a fraction of conventional cost using cheap 3-D printers, possibly saving developing world labs thousands of dollars each time, says a researcher whose book on the subject was published last year. This and similar advances mean the age of appropriate technology — affordable, sustainable solutions designed and built to meet local needs — may be here, argues Joshua Pearce, a materials science and engineering professor at Michigan Technological University, United States, in an article in Physics World magazine.

3D Design Contest for Medical Tools in Africa

The moment the open source RepRap 3D printer was created, its potential for helping the developing the world was evident. The distributed digital production of open source appropriate technology can make a real difference. Research in this area has been heating up with numerous applications from the Enabling the Future's prosthetic hands, to the Waterscope microscope, to more mundane things like organic farm tools. The ReFab Dar project hopes to accelerate this trend. It is a pilot program that explores how plastic waste can power entrepreneurship using 3D printers in Tanzania. They have built on the early work done by the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Laboratory's efforts with open source recyclebots to turn plastic waste into 3D printing filament and then into high-value products...

3D Printing Educator Spotlight On: Joshua Pearce, PhD, Associate Professor, Michigan Tech

Sarah Anderson Goehrke | 3D Print | July 27, 2017

As the global population continues to expand massively, with an estimated 7.5 billion people alive today, sustainability is becoming an ever-more-pressing concern. It takes a lot of energy to support a large and growing population, especially with the living standards seen in the 21st century. In the US, where capitalism looms large, affordability poses another issue as many goods and services carry with them a hefty price tag. At the convergence of a few major areas looking toward the future of sustainability is Dr. Joshua M. Pearce, who has engaged in extensive work with 3D printing, solar power, and open source research as he has headed thorough studies examining these areas and working to educate students and industry alike...

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3D Printing the Next Five Years by Prof. Joshua Pearce

Joshua Pearce | 3D Printing Industry | March 20, 2017

3-D printing should have been here 20 years ago. If my generation had had access to 3-D printers in high school, we would be technical wizards by now. Unfortunately, 3-D printing was locked away by patents, which effectively limited access to rapid prototyping to large corporate R&D centers. I am sure the hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in those early machines paid dividends, but they barely scratched the surface of the potential of additive manufacturing. As readers of 3-D Printing Industry know, we are finally starting to see the potential now...

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Clones Welcome in Scientific Hardware

In the inaugural issue of the Journal of Open Hardware I review emerging business models for open source hardware. Many of these models are borrowed from the free and open source software industry and will no doubt be familiar to you. However, traditional companies should also take a close look at adding open source hardware to their strategy. One way a company can start the transition to the open source way is to open source a single product to drive sales of its other products. A firm can open source the hardware they sell in order to expand the market of other parts of their product line...

Design and Produce 3D Printed, Custom Breast Prosthetics

As the market for 3D printers has moved from sophisticated, experienced designers into the mass consumer market, individuals are saving substantial money with pre-designed, DIY products made on 3D printers. These opportunities are poised to increase due to the Free Open Source 3D Customizer, a libre, 3D model customizer that anyone can use to create their own 3D printed designs. To demonstrate how the software works and the possibilities that it creates, I'll show how breast cancer survivors and others can use the Free Open Source 3D Customizer to design and produce 3D-printable external breast prosthetics.

Do It Yourself And Save: Open-Source Revolution Is Driving Down The Cost Of Doing Science

Marcia Goodrich | Michigan Tech | September 14, 2012

The DIY movement has vaulted from the home to the research lab, and it’s driven by the same motives: saving tons of money and getting precisely what you want. It’s spawning a revolution, says Joshua Pearce. Read More »

How Maker Communities Align with Open Source

The maker movement intersects deeply with open source. When I think of open source I normally think of the most hardcore bleeding-edge software or hardware development. But the maker movement has a long-established sharing culture, which really is nothing less than pure open source. The source code is a little different, however. For example, consider Nicole Curtis, the maker celebrity and TV star of Rehab Addict...

Installing Solar to Combat National Security Risks in the Power Grid

Press Release | Michigan Technological University | May 8, 2017

Vulnerabilities in the power grid are one of the most prevalent national security threats. The technical community has called for building up the resiliency of the grid using distributed energy and microgrids for stabilization. Power production from multiple sources increases the difficulty of triggering cascading blackouts, and following an attack or natural disaster, microgrids can provide localized energy security...

MichiganTech Professor, Student Help Bring Medical 3-D Printing to Nicaragua

Press Release | Michigan Technological University | November 17, 2015

With all the technology we have today, there are so many possibilities. The whole world can collaborate and create open-sourced information to help develop thousands of scientific uses for various new technologies like 3-D printing. Enabling the Future is an organization that is doing just that. It is a global network of passionate volunteers using their 3-D printers, design skills and personal time to give the world a “helping hand” with free 3-D-printed prosthetic hands for those in need.

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Obliterate the Cost of Consumer Products with Open Hardware

If you're looking for free and open source designs to replicate on your desktop 3D printer, you have about two million choices. Because the open source ethic is rooted so deeply in the 3D printing community, many of the consumer products you would normally buy are already among those millions of predesigned products. You can download the designs and save a lot of money. My group has shown in studies in both 2013 (on a self-built 3D printer) and 2017 (on an out-of-the box 3D printer) that peer-to-peer sharing prosumers (producing consumers) gain an incredible return on investment: > 100% at minimum and more likely ~1000% by 3D printing products to offset purchases only once a week...

Open Source Tech Revolutionizes Water Pollution Testing Equipment

Press Release | Michigan Technological University | August 5, 2015

High nitrate levels in water cause the dead zones in the world’s largest deltas. Using too much nitrogen fertilizer wastes resources and leads to nitrate in runoff and water wells and an excess of nitrate in drinking water is a health hazard to infants and harmful to many animals. Current portable nitrate testers range in price and accuracy, from ballpark data at low price points to several hundred dollars for a handheld photometer. This new design is palm-sized, interfaces with a free Android app, costs less than $65 to manufacture and uses green chemistry for a safer and more accurate testing procedure. “This is a Popeye-approved reagent methodology,” Pearce jokes, adding that the enzyme used in the test kit is found in spinach and other leafy greens. “We’re replacing a toxic heavy metal with something that you eat every day in your salad.”

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Openpump – An Open Source Syringe Pump With 3D Printing & Bioprinting Potential

Te Edwards | 3DPrint.com | December 18, 2014

Openpump, an open-source syringe pump made to dispense fluids over a set period of time, is just like the syringe pumps used to administer medication in hospitals and laboratory environments.  Most often used to perform chemical or biomedical research, pumps like this open-source version could easily be used for 3D printing extrusion of paste or as part of a 3D bioprinter for outputting biological materials...

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