contents | summer 2014

The power of the printed world

From action figures printed at home to synthetic veins printed at medical centers, 3-D printing will change manufacturing, medicine, and the marketplace. Christopher Williams’ DREAMS Laboratory is helping to lead the charge.

A chip off the old circuit

It’s a simple idea, really. First, figure out how to do something. Then build it. Richard Claus, a professor emeritus and the founder of NanoSonic Inc., has it down to a science.

A time to heal, abbreviated

Regenerative medicine scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute are developing new ways to shorten the time it takes wounds to heal.

Printing with fire

In a Virginia Tech lab known as VT FIRE, researchers combine old technologies, such as sand casting, with 3-D printing to design and fabricate complex metal structures.

Coyote crossing

Relatively new to Virginia, coyotes are easy scapegoats for declining deer populations. But coyotes aren’t the only hunters stalking the forests.

Mussel power

Mussels function as the “good guy” organisms of the aquatic environment, filtering suspended particles, organic matter, and pollutants from the water. But they are becoming increasingly endangered around the world, even in Southwest Virginia and east Tennessee.

Spinning a genetic web, 3-D-printing style

A new process combining 3-D printing with molecular self-assembly mimics nature to produce strong fibers with a million uses.

Hiking Inca Road informs engineer's research, teaching

Simple in appearance but engineered to stand the test of time, the ancient road offers lessons for modern construction.

Short items on these topics:

Homemade stink-bug traps

• Queueing theory, protein recycling, and getting stuck in a check-out line

• Coming up with a natural pest-control solution to prevent millions of dollars in crop damage

• Coming soon to a grocery store near you: compostable plastic shopping bags

• Engineers tackle the chemical spill in West Virginia that contaminated the air as well as the water



About the cover: DreamVendor 2 at work. The 3-D printing station was built in the Design, Research, and Education for Additive Manufacturing Systems Lab for use by all Virginia Tech students to quickly fabricate prototypes for their academic, and even personal, design projects. Photo by Logan Wallace.

Editor: John Pastor

Art Director: David Stanley '95

Senior Editor: Richard Lovegrove

Copy Editor: Kathy Acosta

Editor Emeritus: Susan Trulove

Contributors: Zeke Barlow, Andrea Brunais, Rosaire Bushey, Paula Byron, Su Clauson-Wicker, Lynn Davis, April Frawley, Amy Loeffler, Steven Mackay, Lynn Nystrom, Miriam Rich, Helen Thompson, Susan Trulove, and Ashley WennersHerron

Photography: Michael Kiernan, Amanda Loman, Jim Stroup, Logan Wallace

Graphic Designer for online version: Kathy Acosta

Virginia Tech Research is a publication of the Office of the Vice President for Research; Robert Walters, Vice President for Research; Beth Tranter, Chief of Staff

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