July 29, 2014

Michigan Tech: Opening Up Sustainability Technology

Dr. Joshua Pearce, an educator at Michigan Technological University and author of Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs, is changing the way major universities teach sustainable technology and other sciences. Using Open Source Hardware and LulzBot 3D printers, Pearce has saved the university tens of thousands of dollars, and has lead the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology (MOST) Lab along the way.

There is a long list of projects and research completed by the MOST Lab, which includes a Vehicle Heat Recovery Ventilator prototype that works in the air conditioning system of a car. MOST estimates that vehicles could save 110 millions gallons of gasoline with these ventilators in place. Another highlighted project is the open source mobile water quality testing platform. MOST found that their open source tools cost anywhere between 7.5 and 15 times less than the other commercial tools currently being used. These projects are just the tip of the iceberg for the MOST Lab.

According to Pearce Research Group's website, their list of current projects is lengthy. The group is currently working on a solar-powered RepRap machine that is “capable of making primary components of solar photovolaic systems from recycled waste.” This isn't the only machine they're developing either. They are also currently creating the first source 3D metal printing machine.

If all of this science lingo is right over your head, don't fret! While the science behind the projects is extremely complicated, it’s easy to understand that MOST Lab is changing current sustainability standards and making them more accessible and cost effective.

Would you like to learn more about MOST’s projects and Dr. Joshua Pearce’s work? Download the new Michigan Tech LulzBot Case Study, and read about our other super users on the LulzBot Case Studies page of our website.