Malia Smith

Malia  Smith
MIT MechE | Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: David Hardt
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Research: Devices
Years: 2022-2023
Research Project Title:

Large Scale Additive Manufacturing of Low-Cost Homes from Recycled Polymer

abstract:With 1.6 million people lacking adequate housing, the MIT HAUS project formed with hopes of providing large-scale, low-cost housing options. To do this, the group is working to provide easily manufactured homes out of recycled polymers using additive manufacturing. The primary polymer chosen was recycled polyethylene terephthalate. By choosing a recycled material, the hope is to reduce plastic waste in the world and thus to help the environment. My goal will be to design and to develop a robot driven screw extruder for lab scale mechanical testing of 3D printed elements. This includes testing the current screw extruder, programming the robot to execute 3D printing commands, integrating the extruder and the robot into one machine, and performing tests on recycled plastic 3D printed parts.

I am excited to contribute to a project with a quality mission that will encourage people in impoverished areas to own their own home. After the past year with the group, I am more interested in learning about manufacturing systems and am looking forward to delving deeper into how they are specifically designed. This SuperUROP allows me to combine my interests of design, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, and sustainability into one project.