Volcano Watch: HVO innovation, 3D application

  • F. Younger/USGS photo HVO staff at work in the electronics workshop. On the right side, two types of 3D printers are used to produce parts: sample holders made from bioplastic, and aerial drone parts made from carbon fiber and nylon. On the left side, a computer screen shows the inside structure of composite drone parts.

The electronics workshop at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory buzzes with creative activity. It’s like Santa Claus’ workshop — for volcano science. Workbenches line the walls of the room, cluttered with things in the making: pliers, wires, and bottles of glue; voltmeters, calipers and microchips, too.