3-D Printing Sweeping Toy Industry Off the Shelves

Cheap, plastic toys—no manufacturer necessary. The 2020 toy and game market is projected to be $135 billion, and 3-D printing brings those profits home. 

People have scoffed that 3-D printers are simply toys themselves. But they probably didn't realize how much money is made off playthings. Do-it-yourself (DIY) manufacturing—making goods at home with a 3-D printer using open source designs from a free online repository—has a multimillion-dollar impact on the overall toy industry.

A team of engineers from Michigan Tech and the London-based company MyMiniFactory published their results on the topic in Technologies last week.

The research team, led by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), focused on how much a desktop 3-D printer could save consumers.

"The 3-D printing industry is now dominated by small, low-cost printers and as the industry grows we're going to see a lot more DIY manufacturing," Pearce says. "The evidence is just overwhelming that this makes sense from a consumers' perspective." Read the full story.

Mi-STAR Earns State, National Status as a STEM Education Program

Mi-STAR (Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform project) has received state and national recognition as a strategic STEM education program that ensures a good return on investment.

The Michigan Department of Education and Change the Equation STEMworks have announced that they have added Mi-STAR to the STEMworks national database.

Mi-STAR is a partnership of universities, school districts and professional societies—led by Michigan Tech—that is working together to develop new curriculum, assessments and professional learning programs to support teachers who are implementing the new Michigan Science Standards. Mi-STAR’s work is made possible by a donation from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.

STEMworks is an online tool that lists STEM programs that meet high standards of excellence, including success in capacity to meet critical need, sustainability, scalability, partnerships and rigorous evaluation. 
Read the full story.

The Loss of a Student Becomes a Force for Good

The tragic loss of a student can become a force for good.

Just a few days remain on the John H.F. Wheeler Memorial Fund Superior Ideas project. This project will fund outreach to high school students to inspire the next generation of natural resource scholars and professionals. To date, the fund is 35 percent funded and has raised $12,080. Terry Sharik, dean of Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, has committed to match the first $5,000 in donations.

Wheeler, who grew up in the Houghton area, was a fourth-year student at Michigan Tech when he was killed in a car accident in last November. He had aspired to become a forester, and was cherished by family, friends and faculty alike.

The project has a $35,000 goal, which will create an endowed fund that will provide financial awards to deserving SFRES students, support outreach to high schools, raise awareness of natural resource careers and cover the cost of traveling to local/regional high schools.

You can donate to the John H.F. Wheeler Memorial Fund here

In addition to the Superior Ideas fund, the John Wheeler Outdoor Learning Center, a playground and classroom in the woods, has been established at Houghton Elementary School. Read the full story.

Cliff Drive Update

Update as of Friday:

  • Cliff Drive closures related to Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building construction remain in effect. The road will remain closed to through traffic.
  • Milling of Cliff Drive and Parking Lot 3 began Friday (July 21). During construction Parking Lot 3 will be closed and at least one lane of traffic will be maintained on Cliff Drive between the Minerals and Materials Engineering Building and the Dow Building.
  • Grading and paving work on Cliff Drive Parking Lot 3, and Parking Lot 10 will begin today (July 24). Construction is expected to last through the week.

Click this link for an updated map showing the areas being impacted by construction. Thank you for your patience as we work to improve the physical environment on campus for our students, faculty and staff.

Break to Educate with Sponsored Programs

Sponsored Programs invites you to a "Break to Educate" session. This event will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 3. in the Superior Room (B001) of the Memorial Union Building.

For this session we will have Abbi Halkola and Madeline Mercado Voelker on hand to talk about HR/Employment questions that have been brought up in past sessions. Also Jennifer Bukovich and Christopher Stancher will talk about the VPR Campus Satellite Office Pilot.

Bring questions and your suggestions on topics that you would be interested in learning more about. We encourage you to forward this information to those you feel may benefit from these sessions. If you have any questions regarding our "Break to Educate" sessions and to RSVP, email rlwadess@mtu.edu.

IT Connect

Recently, we announced that Michigan Tech was moving to a new web conferencing tool called Zoom. We are just checking in to see how Zoom is working for you. This is now active and available to all Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff.

Zoom allows you to connect with up to 100 participants, regardless if they have an account or not. With Zoom, you can share your screen, webcam and audio.

You can sign into your account here. Select "Sign In" and enter your ISO username and password.

If you would like help with this process or have any web conferencing questions, contact us at 7-1111 or at it-help@mtu.edu.

Season Tickets for 2017-18 Arts Season go on Sale Aug. 1

What happens when you combine Chinese martial arts, dance and acrobats in “China Gold”, a dark and physical interpretation by PUSH Physical Theatre of the gothic tale “Dracula,” world-class modern dance “Ailey II” and an award winning all-new play from LA Theatre Works about the last 24 hours of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, “The Mountaintop”? You get the Rozsa Visual and Performing Arts 2017/18 Season.

Welcome to the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, the home of Visual and Performing Arts at Michigan Tech. The Rozsa Visual and Performing Arts 2017/18 Season is nearly here. Season Ticket Packages go on sale Aug. 1, with the best discounts available on all the season has to offer.

Season tickets are available for a limited time only, so find out more today.

There are several season ticket package options this year, offering savings of 20 to 40 percent off single ticket prices:

  • A Full season ticket package, a pass to all the arts at Michigan Tech. Enjoy the biggest discount available off the single ticket price on all Rozsa and VPA events.
  • The popular “Pick 6” season ticket package has returned, and is an even better value this year.
  • New this year, we have “Pick 3” options for people who want to get their discount now and pick their shows later,
  • Back is the very popular “Family Pack” option that will help you bring the whole family to a big show at an affordable price.

We're sure there is a package that works for you. Thank you to all of our long-time season ticket holders, we’re holding your seats. For new season ticket buyers, welcome, we look forward to seeing you this season.

Not interested in a season ticket package? Single ticket sales begin Sept. 1. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at the Central Ticket Office (SDC), at 7-2073 or online.

PHFoundation Endowed Professor Forum

Qiuying Sha (Math) and Guy Hembroff (SoT) have been selected as finalists for the Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Endowed Professorship of Population Health.

Each candidate will provide a 15 minute campus forum (with 10-15 minutes of Q&A) from 1-2 p.m. Thursday, (July 27) in Rekhi G06. Each candidate will present their ongoing research (5 min.), future research (5 min.) and how their teaching, research and scholarship fits with the community and interests of the PHF mission.

Chemical Engineering Master's Defense Tuesday

Pranathi Gangavarapu, master's thesis candidate, chemical engineering, presents "Simulation of Two-Phase Anaerobic Digestion Using Extended ADM1 Model" at 3 p.m. tomorrow (July 25) in Chem Eng 101.

In the News

Dan Bluhm (VPA), a Michigan Tech alumnus in audio production and sound technology, was featured in an article in Live Sound International Magazine. See here.


The Daily Mining Gazette published an article on plans to improve the Quincy Smelter's curb appeal, mentioning that researchers from the Michigan Tech Research Institute will be at the smelter today, using drones to get photos and thermal images of the site. See here.


The New York Times published an article about new technology that may enable cars to avoid hitting deer, based on research being conducted by the Michigan Tech Research Institute and Toyota to collect radar and lidar signatures of deer of varying ages, shapes and sizes. See the full story here.