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. By choosing a recycled material, the hope is to reduce plastic waste in the world and thus to help the environment. The goal will be to investigate two components that go into producing a structure that will support 3D printing structures out of recycled plastic. The first is testing and comparing the material properties of extruded materials from a lab scale extruder, and the second is testing the structural performance of and comparing various 3D printed structures. Both of these components combine to form an overall strength that will inform building on the large scale.

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.