Dr. David Prawel

Assistant Research Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Contact Information

Office Location: Scott 309
(970)402-7776 (mobile)
(970)491-2519 (campus)
Fax: (970)491-3827
Email: david.prawel@colostate.edu


Dr. Prawel co-directs the Biomaterials Research and Engineering Laboratory (BREL) with Dr. Susan James, develops biomaterials for cardiovascular and orthopedic healthcare. They hold several patents on novel technologies for orthopedic and cardiovascular applications.

His specific research areas include:

  • Development and 3-D printing of ceramic photopolymers for bone regeneration, with a particular focus on critical-sized defect repair
  • Advanced structural design of bone regeneration scaffolds
  • 3-D printing of elastomeric biomaterials for cardiovascular healthcare, currently focused on heart valve leaflet materials
  • Micro-structural design of 3-D printed elastomeric heart valve leaflets, for example, to optimize blood flow across the leaflet or to manage turbulence on the leaflet surface

He also founded and directs CSU’s Idea2Product (I2P) 3D printing lab, which provides access to 3D printing, scanning, software and related technologies, along with education and support for users.

Dr. David Prawel has enjoyed a 38 year career as a developer, entrepreneur, consultant and educator in 3-D technology and digital product development. He helped build 6 startup companies, with one successful IPO and one in the works. He earned bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Buffalo, and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University in Biomedical Engineering. He is currently on the research faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at CSU, where he develops biomaterials and runs the Idea2Product 3D printing lab, which he founded in 2012. In addition to his love affair with 3-D technology, he is also married for 35 years to a remarkable and extremely understanding woman and has an extraordinary son who is shaking things up in high-tech.

Links to Other Information


  • 2014 – Colorado State University, OPIE Award for Innovation in Online Education

Classes Taught

  • MECH 502: Advanced/Additive Manufacturing; Fall, Spring, Summer semesters since 2013
  • ENGR 300: 3D Printing Lab, Fall and Spring semesters since 2016


  • State University of New York at Buffalo; Biology; B.S., 1978
  • State University of New York at Buffalo; Natural Sciences; M.S., 1980
  • University of Michigan Executive Education; Mergers and Acquisitions for Technology Companies; Certificate, 2002
  • Colorado State University; Biomedical Engineering; Ph.D., 2011

International Connections

  • Country: South Africa
    Contact: Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbilkpark, South Africa – research collaboration
  • Country: India
    Contact: College of Engineering, Pune, India – research collaboration
  • Country: Netherlands
    Contact: University of Twente, Fraunhofer Centre for Complex System Engineering, Enschede, Netherlands – research collaboration