Work of art: PhD student brings origami to 3D printing

At home, Weijun Shen enjoys crafting origami cranes and frogs for his 4-year-old daughter.

But the PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison also brings his artistic curiosity into the research lab, in what might seem like an unlikely area: additive manufacturing, or 3D printing.

As part of Assistant Professor Hantang Qin’s lab in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Shen is incorporating methods from origami and kirigami (a related Japanese practice of cutting and folding) to create biomedical tools—in addition to using other technologies and techniques to help develop an ambitious autonomous road repair system.

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