BIRD Current Research Projects

Overview

The building blocks of prosthetics come in many materials, shapes, and sizes. To create lightweight yet sturdy prosthetics, we explore 3D printing in plastic, carbon fiber, steel, and titanium. In addition, we investigate different methods of actuation such as miniature 3D printed gearboxes for fingers and twisted coil polymers. While some of these parts may look like something out of Star Wars, these are more than just computer-generated images. These prosthetics are real and they work for real people.  

Buena Vista Gateway Plaza

Date: 3/21/14 - 12/20/15
Buena Vista Gateway Plaza
Principal Researchers:

 

Location: Buena Vista

An underutilized area at the entry to the historic business hub of town came up for sale and presented a chance to remake the gateway to town. Some of the land would be set aside for a new town hall, but the balance would become a park with space for art, gathering near the water, making fishing, and water play easy for visitors. In addition, signage, informational kiosks and other welcoming communication would be integrated into the area, giving a clear sense of where to turn to access the non-highway shopping area.

A variety of approaches, some favoring art display, while others offered a greater sense of gathering for social uses were presented to the community. A mid-century service station however became a sticking point, with at least one resident favoring the saving of the building. The disposal of the building became an issue and the town was unable to negotiate a price for the purchase of the property that was in line with the appraised valuation, and unable to reach a deal, the contract for sale was withdrawn.

Project Team: 
Ben Wurzer, Holly Paris, Casandra Huff, Amanda Tharp, Nathan Paris, Kelly Finkowski, Katie Benz, Jeff Wood (Project Coordinator)
Local Participants: Brandy Reitter
DOLA Regional Manager: Christy Culp

BIRD Past Research Projects

Buena Vista Gateway Plaza

Date: 3/21/14 - 12/20/15
Buena Vista Gateway Plaza
Principal Researchers:

 

Location: Buena Vista

An underutilized area at the entry to the historic business hub of town came up for sale and presented a chance to remake the gateway to town. Some of the land would be set aside for a new town hall, but the balance would become a park with space for art, gathering near the water, making fishing, and water play easy for visitors. In addition, signage, informational kiosks and other welcoming communication would be integrated into the area, giving a clear sense of where to turn to access the non-highway shopping area.

A variety of approaches, some favoring art display, while others offered a greater sense of gathering for social uses were presented to the community. A mid-century service station however became a sticking point, with at least one resident favoring the saving of the building. The disposal of the building became an issue and the town was unable to negotiate a price for the purchase of the property that was in line with the appraised valuation, and unable to reach a deal, the contract for sale was withdrawn.

Project Team: 
Ben Wurzer, Holly Paris, Casandra Huff, Amanda Tharp, Nathan Paris, Kelly Finkowski, Katie Benz, Jeff Wood (Project Coordinator)
Local Participants: Brandy Reitter
DOLA Regional Manager: Christy Culp