Virginia Tech®home

Callie Zawaski

Callie Zawaski

Fused Filament Fabrication Additive Manufacturing

I started as an undergraduate volunteer in the Design, Research, and Education for Additive Manufacturing Systems (DREAMS) laboratory, which was the third or fourth lab I approached to volunteer. I was immediately drawn to 3D printing technology and knew that when I completed my undergraduate degree I wanted to do more. So, I became a graduate student in the DREAMS lab to pursue my passion for additive manufacturing. 

My research has focused on enabling materials for fused filament fabrication additive manufacturing. This has involved both modifying the material for the manufacturing process and modifying the machine to enable and improve new materials.

Advanced manufacturing is really what helps enable innovation in designs and structures, which is why I love it.


I first discovered a passion for this work ...

As an undergraduate researcher and on my senior design team working on the DreamVendor - a 3D printing vending machine.

 

My work impacts society ...

By enabling new materials for additive manufacturing which broadens the applications in which additive manufacturing can be applied.

 

The most formative experience I've had ...

Working on really hard problems, trying solutions, and failing over and over again until I find the right answer. I have learned so much from my failures that has helped my understanding of 3D printing and forces me to be creative in my problem solving.

 

I see the future in my field ...

The future of materials development and 3D printing is going to change society. The ability to manufacture new custom complex designs using new materials will alter how we think of and use manufacturing. Science fiction is becoming a reality!

 

I wish I invented ...

A fully functional model that would be able to simulate final part strength based on the polymer molecule. Research is moving toward this goal and it will be amazing when this is achieved.

Something that excites me in my field ...

Additive manufacturing is  in its infancy as far as manufacturing processes go. It is exciting to work in a field that is so new and that we are continuing to understand.

 

Groups or organizations I am involved in ...

I recently graduated, but I was involved in the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Council and the Graduate Student Assembly.

 

Words of encouragement to an aspiring inventor ...

Ideas and designs that don't work aren't failures, but all part of the process. The best thing you can do is be bold, be creative, and get out there and try something! You are 100% better off by just trying to create your idea.

 

In my free time ...

I love hiking and being outdoors.

 

If I had a superpower, it would be ...

Controlling time - there is so much more I could learn and do if I had infinite time.

 

Best part of working at Virginia Tech ...

The Virginia Tech community is really the best part. The feeling that we are all in this together.

 

Additional Highlights

Callie Zawaski   |    Ph.D. Student

Mechanical Engineering @ VT


College of Engineering - Student Bio Page