Projects at think[box]


Macro Photography Light Stage September 21, 2018

This computer-controlled light stage, created by Duncan Rodriguez, is used in macro photography. A motorized, illuminated stage moves film or small objects past a stationary camera, which takes extremely close-up photographs at regular intervals. These photographs are then stitched together to produce incredibly high resolution images at faster speeds than traditional flatbed scanners. This light stage also includes an ultra-resolution mode where a piezo actuator moves the subject very small amounts, typically micrometers, and stitches those photos together in order to achieve a higher resolution image than the camera can obtain on its own.



Duncan Rodriguez -
Duncan Rodriguez -

Shop Access Control System September 20, 2018

This new device aims to improve upon the current ability badge access system for the Fabrication floor at think[box].  Created by students Claire Barratt, Reid Bolding, and Daniel Weidman, this system allows users to access machines they have been trained on by scanning into the machine.  Instead of waiting waiting for an  ability badge at the front desk, users will sign in using an email address, scan a reusable card which is then updated with the user’s information and stores which machines they have been trained on.  Before a user operates a machine, they insert their card into the RFID card reader assigned to that piece of equipment. If the user is not authorized to use that particular machine, an alarm sounds, alerting the user that they may not have the proper training to operate the machine safely.  The Shop Access 2.0 scanner will help reduce wait times associated with ability badges and will improve the user experience on the fabrication floor.


Reid Bolding -
Daniel Weidman -
Claire Barratt -

Urbavore September 20, 2018

The Urbavore is a structure designed to make urban gardening cheaper and more effective. The Urbavore uses a simple “gable” structure made of sturdy metal tubing that can be taken apart for storage. Vinyl netting laid over the structure turns it into a greenhouse while keeping bugs away from the plants. The Urbavore team tried many approaches and configurations before converging on this final design that balanced price, size, and stability.


Uriel Kim -

Comparative Temporal Bone Models September 19, 2018

In this project, researchers at the CWRU School of Medicine investigated how 3D printed temporal bones mechanically respond to drilling, in order to more closely simulate medical operations done during surgery. The researchers created temporal bone models using FDM, Polyjet, and FFF 3D printers. In the future, the researchers plan on creating  patient-specific 3D models using computed tomography (CT) data. Patient-specific models in the medical field have the potential to enhance preoperative planning and practice drilling. The usage of a replica of the patient’s own temporal bone for practice can improve intraoperative decisions and patient outcomes. 


Alexandra McMillan -


GHDC Pulse Oximeter September 18, 2018

Students from the Global Health Design Collaborative designed a durable, cost-effective, handheld pulse oximeter to address the health crisis of pneumonia. In low-resource areas pneumonia accounts for more than 900,000 deaths in children under the age of five each year. Pulse oximetry allows for early detection of the disease by measuring the relative oxygen saturation levels of blood, which will be lower for people with pneumonia. This device is designed to be pressed up against various places on the body of a patient, such as the forehead, back, or arm, allowing for use on patients varying from newborns to adults.


Emily Long -
Ashley Leyden -
Imshan Dhrolia -

Concrete 3-D Printer September 18, 2018

Three graduate research assistants at the Department of Civil Engineering constructed this 3D printer to build structures out of concrete. The advantages of using a 3D printer will be on-site production of accurate, complex architectural parts. After testing materials to be printed, the researchers learned that an optimal mix of these materials can be obtained locally helping to reduce transport costs. The printer has a custom nozzle that mixes the water and concrete in precise ratios. Construction companies may be able to use this technology to speed up certain construction process by as many as 10 times at no additional cost while also reducing waste.


Jiajie Hu -
Xijin Zhang -
Xudong Fan -

Redesigned Vaccine Carrier September 17, 2018

These vaccine carriers, developed in a collaborative project between CWRU and Uganda’s Makerere University, were designed to improve the distribution of vaccines in developing countries. Currently, vaccines are transported to rural villages in Uganda in a heavy carrier on the back of a motorcycle where the vials are often damaged in transit. A team of CWRU students worked in think[box] to design a safer carrier with insulation, drawers, and room for ice packs to keep the vaccine vials intact and at a viable temperature. They first used the 3D scanner to make a model of the vials, which they used to test different storage designs before deciding which design to prototype. The final carrier design was 3D printed and tested both by students in the United States and by health clinic workers in Uganda.


Patrick Owens -
Alan Chen -
Shreya Ravindran -
Alexander Myers -
Braden Lamberski -
Katherine Steinberg -
Carolyn Miller -
Marion Schuman -

Efficient Solar Cells for a Brighter Future September 17, 2018

These solar cells are part of a new generation of environmentally-friendly thin film photovoltaics. Typical thin film solar cells contain lead, a toxic metal. In this project, students from several different engineering and science departments worked together in the Materials for Opto/Electronics Research and Education (MORE) Center to improve existing lead-free thin film solar cell technology. By optimizing the smoothness and thinness of the lead-free photoactive crystal and the semiconductor layers around it, the group significantly increased their solar cell’s efficiency. 


Chenhui Yang -
Max Jesurum -
Nolan Kovach -
Maria Kim -

Maple Tabletop August 15, 2018

Brock Winans, an American Interiors employee, designed and built this table in his garage. He laser cut spalted maple at think[box] to produce the decorative marquetry on the table top.


Brock Winans -


Next Generation MRI July 25, 2018

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates anatomical images by detecting magnetization in the human body. Prior to being detected, the magnetization must be "excited," which is typically done by applying a powerful radio-frequency magnetic field, referred to as the RF transmit field. However, the RF transmit field is potentially harmful to certain patients, especially those with implanted devices. By separating the RF transmit system into an array of smaller antennas and amplifiers working in parallel, the hazard is reduced, making it possible for millions of patients with implants to benefit from high field MRI.


Michael Twieg -