Transparent Soil Diffusion Chambers
Inspired by a tool called the iChip (Ling, Schneider et al, Nature, 2015), Kriti Sharma (PhD Student, Shank Lab, UNC Biology Department) used 3D printing to create a device that literally sheds light on how soil bacteria live and interact with each other. Sharma creates small chambers in a microscope slide, packs the chambers with soil bacteria mixed into a substrate called “transparent soil” (Downie et al, PLoS One, 2012), puts a membrane on either side of the slide so that nutrients can get in and wastes can get out but the bacteria stay in place, places the slide into the 3D printed device, and buries the entire apparatus in soil. Bacteria live, grow, and interact with each other in the transparent soil matrix, and when the slide is taken out, they can be visualized with a microscope in the transparent soil environment.
3D printing allowed the Shank Lab to quickly and inexpensively test an existing design, discover ways to improve the design for their application, and create a new tool suited to answer a novel research question.
-Elizabeth Shank and Kriti Sharma, Shank Lab, Department of Biology
Wheelchair Joystick Cap
The first image shows a side profile of the cap on the joystick. It extends the control head of the joystick.
The second image is a top-down view. The cup shape fits the ball of the thumb and gives precise control over the movement of the power chair.
WNCN featured a news report about this project.
-Jeffrey Olander, Ph.D. student in Department of Physics
High-Throughput in Vitro Physiology for the Human Intestinal Epithelium
A) 3D Printed Control Arm and B) Stage Insert in a Microinjection Platform
-Scott Magness, Magness Lab, Department of Cell Biology and Physiology
Dengue Virus Envelope Protein Structure and Topography
–Ralph Baric, Baric Lab, UNC School of Medicine and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health -Emily Gallichotte
Several of the undergraduates were first time quilters and utilized the sewing machines in the MakerSpace to complete their blocks. The designers and two of the makers are part of the MakerSpace “String Theory,” a group of makers that meets monthly to work on their own projects including quilting, knitting, jewelry making and others. The quilt design uses the three primary colors of the MakerSpace and incorporates the Research Hub logo and University’s logo of the Old Well.
Maker in Residence Program
The first MIR was Jim Pressley, an amateur astronomer who led students in the fabrication of a telescope. Using this telescope, more than 500 students and community members have been able to view the moon, planets and stars during the capstone event as well as other events both off campus and at the planetarium on campus.
The second MIR was Elliot Inman, a local engineering professional who led workshops in the fabrication of musical circuits. A musical circuits demo and jam was held as part of the day long celebration of the official launch of the KSL Makerspace on April 12, 2016.
The third MIR recipient was Forrest C. Greenslade, biologist and nature-inspired artist, who lead a design build project to create nests for native bees. Participants learned about bees native to the Carolinas and the critical role they play in pollination and thereby food availability. Students worked in the UNC makerspaces to design and build native bee nesting units using wood, metal, and other materials. The capstone event was hosted by the Coker Arboretum and the Carolina Community Garden.
The latest MIR recipient was master puppeteer Donovan Zimmerman of Paperhand Puppet Intervention, who guided students in creating masks and giant puppets, with a capstone performance in in the Historic Playmaker’s Theatre.
Periodic Table of the Elements Project
Digitally Driven Replicas of an Antique Textile Printing Block
This was created in the costume production MFA program at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. My textile printing project includes an antique, wood carved printing block in need of repair and the process of creating a new print block in the form of 3-D printed plastic and a new carved wood block made on a C & C machine. The project covers the process of printing with a traditional block, creating a 2-D file, translating it to a 3-D file, and the printing process of the repaired blocks. The study also includes printing pros and cons with new blocks versus the antique block.
-Katie Keener, MFA Candidate, Department of Dramatic Arts
Survey of Nine Media/Methods for Making Theatrical Masks
–Rachel E. Pollock, Department of Dramatic Art
The Worlds of M.C. Escher
I used the tiles to demonstrate how Escher uses rotational symmetry to create his Reptiles tessellation. My video interview will be included in the iPad app that will accompany the museum’s Escher exhibition. I also plan to use the Kenan Science Library printer to create 3D models for lesson plans in my First Year Seminar, “Math, Art, & the Human Experience.”
-Mark McCombs, Department of Mathematics
Low-Field NMR Spectrometer
The first image is a homemade NMR coil positioned on the top of the polarizer optical cell. This coil enables us to measure Xe polarization during the spin-exchange optical pumping process.
The second image is low-field NMR coils wrapped on 3D printed coil forms designed to better fit on the polarizer optical cell surface.
-Tamara Branca, Branca Lab, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Small Animal Imaging With Hyperpolarized Xe Gas
In order to keep images undistorted, everything must be metal free, including the small plastic catheters used to deliver the gas to the lungs of these small animals. Therefore, we replaced commercially available catheters, which use ferromagnetic materials to reinforce the catheter tubes, with 3D printed catheter fittings, which are completely metal free and keep our images undistorted. In addition, we designed and 3D printed an MR-compatible cradle used to position mice accurately and consistently during our imaging experiments.
The first image is a mouse cradle designed and fabricated using the 3D printer, used to image the lungs of small animals using MR visible gas. Gas for inhalation is delivered to the mouse through the tubing coming from the bottom left, through the 3D printed catheter, directly to the lungs.
The second image is MR compatible catheters fabricated using the 3D printer.
-Dr. Tamara Branca
Modernization of Legacy Microscopy Equipment
This photo demonstrates the camera in action, imaging sections of tumors our lab is interested in. The part I manufactured with Makerspace is the blue cylinder at the top of the microscope, which is bolted to the microscope body and holds the camera in place with tension screws.
-Andrew Dudley, Department of Cell Biology and Physiology -Jim Dunleavey
Fluorescence-Based Quantification of Oxygen in Three-Dimensional, Paper-Based Cultures of Mammalian Cells
We utilize paper-based scaffolds to generate our cultures because the material is readily available, easily processed, and accessible to many tissue culture laboratories regardless of their engineering expertise. As we develop these three-dimensionsal cultures, we are particularly interested in understanding how different environmental factors affect invasiveness (the first step in tumor metastasis).
Oxygen is particularly important because the concentration of oxygen in a tumor mass is much lower than the concentration in the surrounding healthy tissues. We are using our system to ask the question, do cancer cells selectively invade regions with higher oxygen concentrations? To quantify the oxygen in our cultures we have developed thin films, whose fluorescence intensity is dependent on the concentration of oxygen present in the culture. To test our thin films, we use 3D printing to prepare different apparatuses.
Pictured above is a flow cell used monitor the fluorescence of the film in the presence of different concentrations of oxygen.
The other figure shows a 3D mold for polymeric flow cell production. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) flow cell, outlined by the red dashed line, in use with an inverted fluorescence microscope. Gas with varying concentrations of oxygen is delivered to the flow cell, and the emission of the sensor is measured. (Inset) Comparative view of the (left) assembled flow cell, (middle) cured PDMS flow cell before assembly, and (right) 3D printed mold for flow cell production. (Dime for scale)
-Matthew R. Lockett, Lockett Lab, Department of Chemistry -Matthew Boyce
Developing Small Animal Holders for MR Imaging of Rats and Mice
To address these issues we designed several MR compatible rodent holder prototypes using CAD software in order to improve on their structure and strength. Beyond this we are developing several prototypes for novel MRI head coil with head restrainers to be integrated into the holder to be utilized for functional MR imaging in conscious rodents.
This project aims to reduce motion artifacts during function MR imaging acquisition while improving overall image quality and consistency of all scans while also addressing the issues of how to interpret functional MR data acquired using anesthetized rodents.
The image shows a CAD prototype of our custom designed plastic rat holder that is currently being 3D printed in ABS at the UNC Makerspace. This cradle not only takes advantage of a strengthened design to minimize motion artifacts but will also allow the implementation of conscious animal imaging, which to date has not been implemented in small animal MR imaging on rodents at UNC.
–Yen-Yu (Ian) Shih, Experimental Neuroimaging Laboratory, Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC) and the Department of Neurology
Tactile Graphic Symbols
This 3D printing project is a component of a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The grant, Project Core (#H327S140017) is focused on developing an implementation plan to help schools meet the communication needs of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
The project emphasizes the use of graphic symbols that represent the most common words in spoken English; however, within the group of school-aged students with significant cognitive disabilities, there are a substantial number of students who have concomitant visual impairments. These students cannot see well enough to use graphic symbols. They require tactile information instead of visual information.
The 3D printer allows us to create tactile symbols for these students. While tactile symbols have been available for some time, 3D printers have advantages over prior approaches to creating tactile symbols. Perhaps most important among these advantages is the fact that symbols can easily be replicated when they are lost or more are needed for use across environments.
-Karen A. Erickson, Center for Literacy & Disability Studies, Department of Allied Health Sciences
Art Nouveau-Influenced Purse Handle
-Emily Plonski, Carroll Kyser Costume Complex, Department of Dramatic Art