From medical implants to aerospace engineering, Ali Davar Panah is working with new technology in incremental forming (similar to 3D printing) that might allow thermoplastics and biodegradable polymers to be customized and produced for a variety of applications. Similar to dissolving stitches, items made from biopolymers could be of great medical value. Once in the body they would serve their purpose and dissolve entirely with no surgical removal required. Biopolymer printing would also be valuable for producing any number of disposable plastic items (coffee lids or plastic silverware, for example) which would decompose completely if buried. Because this type of incremental forming is a a room temperature operation, it is also useful for producing complex geometric surfaces made from heat sensitive plastics, such as those used on the insides of airplanes or space shuttles.
Ali is a doctoral student working underneath Dr. Malhotra in the Advanced Manufacturing program here in OSU’s Mechanical Engineering department. Tonight, tune in to 88.7FM KBVR Corvallis at 7PM PST, or stream the show live online at http://kbvr.com/listen to learn more about Ali’s work and his story!