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3D Printing and Scanning: What Have we Been Printing?

This guide give you information on 3D printing and scanning services provided by the Radcliffe Science Library, along with links to helpful 3D printing, scanning, and modelling resources and tips.

The Adeno Associated Virus (AAV) vector containing DNA

Who?
Dr Lewis Fry
​Clinical Neuroscience, Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology

What?
"This is a harmless virus that we use to deliver genes to the back of the eye in genetic diseases of the retina. The DNA inside represents the gene that is carried within the virus (the orange capsid)."

How?
Using a combination of 3D printed parts and pencils!


Peruvian flute


 

Who?
Gustavo Quino Quispe
​Post-doctoral Research Associate

What?
Quena, Peruvian Flute

How?
It was designed in two parts that push together using CAD software SolidWorks, you can find out more in the video below.


Atomic and Laser Physics - Beam Profiling

Who?
Laurent Stephenson
​Atomic and Laser Physics

What/Why?
"We use multiple laser beams, individually steered using adjustable mirrors, propagating along the same path to trap small numbers of strontium/calcium atoms inside a vacuum chamber. The optics closest to the trap are held on machined steel blocks and fixed on to the vacuum system via part A (here it is screwed to right angle blocks for testing purposes). The beams are focussed (lens B) to a diameter of around 50 microns and must hit the trapping region, which is a few tens of microns in each direction.

Usually a rough alignment is enough to get a signal from the trapped ion, and then one of the beam positions is adjusted to maximise this signal and thus fine tune the alignment. Once one of the beams has been aligned properly, all that remains is to make all the other beams hit the same spot... but how to do this? We temporarily reflect the beam outwards with mirrors (C and E) on to a CCD camera (F), and line the beams up like this. This used to be done with a hand inserted mirror, however, our latest design is much more compact, so it's hard to avoid putting fingerprints on optics - 3D printing allows us to mount a servo motor (D) to rotate the mirror in for us. Moving to a motorised system also means that we can automate it to perform daily checks on the beam positions."

Optical Chopper Enclosure

Who?
John Capone
Astrophysics

What/Why?
"We are developing an optical setup to measure the properties of light transmitted through diffraction gratings, which are required for the High Angular Resolution Monolithic Optical and Near-infrared Integral field spectrograph (HARMONI), an astronomical instrument that will be installed on the 39-meter diameter Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in 2024. These sensitive measurements require the input light to be modulated with an optical chopper. The chopper periodically blocks the incident light using a steel blade. The 3D printed cover protects this blade, blocks light from other sources, and provides a platform on which to mount mirrors, as shown in the images."

How did we print it?
This was printed in one piece without any removable supports. The design was developed with the 3D printing process in mind.

Antique Room

Who?
Alex Massouras 
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Ruskin School of Art

What?
This is a 3D printed replica 'antique room', a feature of most art schools and academies until the mid-twentieth century.

Why?
Printing an antique room gives a better sense of the dense, cluttered way their component sculptures were huddled together in art schools. The sculptures in the antique room were plaster casts, a clear precursor to 3D printing, so this exercise also served as a technological upgrade. Similarly, printing them from stored data and at reduced scale nods to certain types of drawing taught in the antique room, particularly sight-size and memory drawing. 

How did we print it?
All these models were freely available online, and took between 3-5 hours each to print. 

GPS Collar

Who?
James Foley
WildCRU, Department of Zoology

What?
GPS collars for deployment on domestic dogs in Ethiopia

Why?
3D printing allows to build housing for the collars in a more precise way

How did we print it?
The box and lid were printed separately. Each set took 6 hours to print.

Gel Combs

Who?
Vanessa M.R. Chong

DPhil candidate in Medical Sciences, Tatjana Sauka-Spengler Lab 

What & Why?
"Here's the dilemma. You've got 60 PCR reactions to run on a gel (3 sets of 20, excluding ladders), but the combs currently available in the lab only go up to 20 wells. That means no well (or wells) for a reference ladder (s)...argh. Plus, the teeth have gotten brittle with use and you have "20"-well combs with two or three gaps scattered across the comb...ARGH. Brand new combs cost £35 each...What? For a piece of plastic? Nope." ... read more from the blog post: http://www.tsslab.co.uk/blogpost_3dcombs

How did we print it?
Printed with no supports or raft, it took 2 hours in total to print.

Crystal Structure Models

Who?
Professor A M Glazer 

Emeritus Professor of Physics and Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College Oxford

What?
This is a model showing an arrangement of tilted octahedra in the crystal structure of a perovskite. In 1972 I published a paper on the various possibilities of tilted octahedral when they are corner-linked like this. I found 23 different possibilities and devised a nomenclature on this. Nowadays this tilt system nomenclature is used world-wide (known as Glazer’s tilts!).  This particular one is tilt system a+a+a+ in which there are three equal tilts about each axis.

You can find more of these models on Professor Glazer's website: http://www.amg122.com/3dprinting/

Why?
Visualization for a conference.

How did we print it?
Printed in one piece with supports and rafts turned on, it took 5 hours in total.

Brain Tractography

Who?
Ivan Alvarez
Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain: FMRIB

What?
A 1:1 scale size model of the internal capsule & corpus callosum, 750 streamlines at 4mm diameter.

Why?
To 3D print anatomically-accurate models of human brain parts for study and teaching aids.

How did we print it?
The two parts were printed separately and took 5 hours each.

Topographic model of the Wadi Mayh gorge in Oman

 

Who?
Sam Cornish
4th year undergraduate, Department of Earth Sciences

What?
Topographic model of the Wadi Mayh gorge in Oman. Constructucted using 3D Structure from Motion (SfM) software - Agisoft Photoscan - that matches common points in multiple images taken from different perspectives. A ground-based photographic survey and an aerial drone survey collected the total of 724 photos used in model construction. Each side of the gorge was prepared and printed separately.

Why?
This gorge contains one of the largest known examples of a spectacular geological structure called a sheath fold. Sheath folds show distinctive ‘cat’s eye’ shapes in cross-section, and are formed under high shear strain. I mapped the structure on a series of high-resolution panoramas, and constructed the 3D model on Agisoft Photoscan to place the mapped structure into three dimensions, and for the advantage of being able to adopt any perspective to examine the structure. The 3D model printing was part of this visualisation process and allowed me to package up the field area and bring it back to Oxford! The sheath fold analysis constituted part of my Master’s research thesis on processes of deformation in the continental margin of Oman, which occurred during subduction and subsequent exhumation from the subduction zone in the late Cretaceous.

How did we print it?
The two sides of the gorge were printed separately and took 4 hours each.

Prosthetic Hands

Who?
Ed Choi

Researcher
Infectious Diseases & Tropical Medicine at the Churchill Hospital.
You can support Ed here: https://www.gofundme.com/enablesierraleone

What?
Prosthetic Hands

Why?
To provide cheaper alternatives to amputee's in West Africa who have lost their limbs due to the civil war and blood diamonds. Ed took these to Sierra Leone to show charities and the people affected. The village held a "fitting ceremony" at the Makambo Amputee Camp and have given Ed a lot of postive feedback about the prosthetics.

Custom fitted traditional prosthetic's can cost thousands to produce but with a 3D printer you can produce many very quickly, all custom fitted and for a cost of around £30-50.

How did we print it?
We printed 4 groups by colour, as seen in the picture. The total print time was 14 hours.

Bird Sterna

Who?
Sonya Clegg and Ben Sheldon, Department of Zoology

What?
Bird sterna

Why?
To use as a teaching tool in an undergraduate practical on comparative bird morphology. The shape of the sternum can provide information on flight capacity. We printed a variety of examples covering species with different capacity for flight e.g. flightless species such as the Kakapo and Kiwi, through to species which can spend a lot of time in flight e.g. White-collared swift and Eurasian curlew. We used high resolution files provided by Aves3D (aves3D.org) from specimens held at Yale Peabody Museum and Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, and also made 3D scans of specimens from Oxford Natural History Museum. 

How did we print it?
We printed by colour, as seen in the pictures. We printed 22 models and the total print time was 49 hours.

3D Printed Textiles

Who?
Megan Wiessner

Nature, Society and Environmental Policy

What?
3D Printed Textiles

Why?
Building on work in geography that asks how materials come to acquire
political and social significance, this research investigated how designers
develop and promote  "printed" and "grown" textile materials made using
3D printing and microorganisms like fungi and bacteria. We printed several samples of different fabric structures posted on file-sharing sites in different feedstocks in order to get to help clarify and some of the design and materials challenges faced by the designers and programmers who were interviewed as part of the research.

How did we print it?
The red model was printed in PLA in sperate parts which then all fit together.
The green model was printed in PLA as one piece.
The white model was printed with NinjaFlex filament, which was exprimented with for this project. The filament was quite hard to work with as it was so flexible.

Optical Mounts

Who?
Mark Smith

Summer Student, g-2 GroupDepartment of Physics

What?
Optical mounts.

Why?
To prototype an optical system to polarise a glass cell of He-3, we designed and printed a set of plastic mounts. This allowed us to rapidly test different arrangements of components extremely cheaply, while avoiding a lot of the tedious alignment needed in using conventional (and expensive) optical mounts. The final assembly is intended to be used as a calibration magnetometer in the g-2 experiment.

How did we print it?
We printed 4 parts for the optical mounts. The total print time was 15 hours.

The Knitted Periodic Table

Who?
Tracy Bradley, Oliver Bridle, Kate Clark, Susan Davis, Val de Newtown,
Hillary Fraser, Sue Henderson, Jenny Houlsby, Tracey Marr, Carol Martin,
Rosie Mortimer, Richard Smith, Nathalie Soanes and Lynne Thorn.

Department of Chemistry & RSL.

What?
Periodic Table created with cotton yarn and 3D printed plastic.

Why?

Inspired by the departmental collaboration with Periodic Tales:
The Art of the Elements
 at Compton Verney Art Gallery, a collective
of members of the staff and associates of the department worked in
their spare time to make ‘The Knitted Periodic Table.'  

This work looks to the Arts and Crafts movement as a source of guidance.
The movement, which grew out of a concern for the effects of industrialisation
​and stands for the traditional craftsmanship, also has particular ties to Oxford.
John Ruskin, a keen proponent for the unity of art, society and labour, was
founding member of both the Art School at Oxford and the movement itself.
This piece therefore presents a contrast between the industrialised processes of chemical research going on in Oxford laboratories and the hand-fashioned tasks of knitting and crochet, reflecting on the University's long history as both a place of scientific advancement and an integral part of the UK’s artistic community.

How did we print it?
We printed this in 14 groups, fitting as many letters as possible onto one build plate. The total print time was 14 hours.

Brain Model

Who?
Oiwi Parker Jones and Ivan Alvarez

Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain: FMRIB

What?
A 1:1 scale size model of the brain. The brain model was created from MRI data and converted into a 3D model.

Why?
To 3D print anatomically-accurate models of human brain parts for study and teaching aids.

How did we print it?
The brain was printed in four parts. Which created two full halfs of the brain. The total print time was just over 24 hours.

Enzyme Models


 

Who?
Ellis O'Neill 

Department of Plant Sciences

What?
"3D printed models of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Each of these proteins forms dimers with two copies of the monomer (in green) coming together to form a complex (red). They bind long carbohydrates using deep clefts, clearly visible across the front of the nearest model, and catalyse complex reactions to build and degrade the sugars. The proteins are (from back to front): Phosphorylase from a plant (PDB 4BQE), rhamnosidase from a bacteria (PDB 4XHC) and disproportionating enzyme from a plant (PDB 5CPQ)."

How did we print it?
Each enzyme would take between 3-5 hours to print. We used both our printers in collaboration for this project, and they were loaded with a different colour filament for contrast. (Red was printed on the MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation and green was printed on the MakerBot Replicator 2.)

Bronchi Model


 

Who?
John Couper 

The Ritchie Group (Department of Chemistry)

What?
"The model is for a project within the Ritchie group in Physical Chemistry.  The project 

involves development of an optical probe to measure carbon dioxide concentration inside a lung (via a bronchoscope). "

Why?
"The purpose of the model is to assist with performance testing while steering the probe through typical lung geometries."

How did we print it?
The Bronchi Model was printed in 4 parts in just over 12 hours.

MRI Model Scanner

Who?
Charlotte Hartwright

Charlotte is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Developmental Neuroscience
in the Cohen Kadosh Lab (Department of Experimental Psychology).

What?
"I am working in the Dept of Experimental Psychology where I will be using Magnetic
Resonance Imaging (MRI) and cognitive testing to map the relationship between brain
development and mathematical achievement in children and adolescents. Many people
have never seen an MRI scanner and having a brain scan can be a daunting experience."

Why?
"From an ethical perspective, it is important that participants are comfortable throughout
their participation and that they enjoy the experience. Comfort is also important from an
experimental perspective, as nervous participants tend to move around more in the
MRI scanner which adversely affects the image quality. Colleagues at the John Radcliffe hospital have a model MRI scanner which they use with toy people to help prepare children
for having a scan. Unfortunately, this model was a one-off commission and toy MRI scanners are not readily available, so I looked into 3D printing. 

The Science library provided advice on appropriately scaling my design, so it’s a perfect size for use with Lego people. It’ll be a really useful tool for my research."

How did we print it?
The MRI toy model took 5 hours to print. 

Subject Guide

Richard Smith's picture
Richard Smith
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