Archives for the month of: March, 2016

We will be making a chair to add life to the desolate kenilworth 3rd floor patio.  It will be parasitic to the guard rails- all of my preliminary sketches (below) rely on the railing for support.  The spikes and antenna structures are lamps.

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More chairspiration.  globo-royal-hanging-chair-1024x1011 cellular-chair f3f28f01281aeb0d579caa5c8f5480ff 53d5fa9cde6918cfd079362e73ed9c7b bfffbae61153a006c976262c4935709fOvis-Lounge-Chair-Ladies-and-Gentlemen-Studio-Yellowtrace-02 92b9a313680776860f8449394c615e87 11dfa537064be0074a8b0727aba17656 chair-777
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Often in textbooks proteins and molecules are rendered in a way which makes them look made of colorful plastic.  Would love to do an installation of some kids room with instead of toys, hundreds of 3D printed proteins in numerous colors, strewn about floor in a complete mess.  The problem with plastic appearance is that it’s hard and static- ideally proteins would be represented in a wobbly material.  Anyway, I wanted to put my flesh colored filament to good use so I printed some biological stuff, all models via 3dprint.nih.gov

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^I love the way the flesh filament looks as your peeling away support material..

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^mouse retina neuron from NIH 3dprint, data by eyewire.org

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Some nuclear pores.  Below: nuclear pores on an SEM image I took, 100,000x magnification.

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^GFP and clathrin cage.  GFP i can never get to print well- need dissolvable support.  Clathrin is a protein which assembles into cages around vesicles forming at the cell membrane, helps with getting things where they need to go in the cell.  Below: scanning electron micrograph of clathrin cage.  SEM processing adds 2nm of gold to the surface which can dull the details of very very small things.  The image below is starting to get to the limit of that microscope- 200,000x magnification (each tick mark is 20nm).

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Just some imagery which I’d like to draw on for chair inspiration.

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Lace bugs (Tingidae) get their name from their lace-like wings. Not only do the veins strengthen the insects' wings, just as veins strengthen leaves, but they also help many kinds of insects avoid detection because their wings resemble leaves. The wings of lace bugs blend in with the underside of the leaves where they live. Unlike most true bugs, female lace bugs care for their young.

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I immediately gravitated towards my group’s suggestion for incorporating lighting into the design.  Below: lamp ideas.

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For our final project, we are to design in groups a ‘spatial prothetic’ which provides a place to rest- a shelter or chair which is symbiotic/parasitic to a particular environment (think a chair which hooks onto a chain link fence).  It should be flat packable as well.

I am having a lot of difficulty wrapping my head around the flat packable aspect, as well as potentially portability.  My mind thinks in organic, rounded shapes- this will be an interesting challenge.

Below is some general chair inspiration..
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Gemini Chair -Neri Oxman

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next post: lighting..

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I did a few more prototypes, tweaking the flex splint.  This design is not super easy to scale which is a drawback.  Scaling requires perhaps some cage editing + a few trial/error prints.

Now the final version is off to shapeways for 3D printing in metal! (raw aluminum, we will polish it when it arrives).  Some renderings in various materials

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Laser cutting protein cutouts out of acrylic fresnel lenses has proved less then ideal- the proteins are a bit small and also caused a lot of scorch marks which cloud the transparency.  Would need to make the proteins much bigger to work in acrylic.  On the upside, the thin pvc lenses are much less hard to cut w/ scissors then I remember.

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But at least there are awesome stickers:

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I could also put the protein stickers on polarizing film instead.  Doing so could create some neat effects as they occlude each other (imagine the below pic but with hundreds).  Only downside is that polarizers make things dimmer.

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I found acrylic fresnel lenses which means I can laser cut them!  Typical floppy magnifying sheets are pvc thus toxic to laser cut.    However the acrylic lenses are a bit thick (1/16″) and the ridges are bigger- they work best with larger shapes, detail gets lost easily with the ridges.

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We used transfer tape to minimize stray reflections.

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Also, polarizers make the world a better place.

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I’m going to be posting more ideas and experiments in the fabrication/sculpture realm here, as it may contribute to my work in this class, though they may not directly have anything electronic (but maybe later).  It’s my first term in the DCRL and I’m in constant discovery mode.

For now: my first project: (different then a week ago) cytoplasm lamp! (or cytoplasm interactive sculpture)

I am quite interested in how crazy crowded the cytoplasm of a cell is vs. how it is usually shown:

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^saddest looking cell ever btw    VS

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^This one doesn’t even show water.

How we depict things in science can really change how we learn about them (and dream about them).

 I took a scanning electron micrograph a while back in which I accidentally kicked off a piece of the top of a cell, revealing a dense cytoplasm.  The proteins are not tagged so you cannot tell them apart, but it gives a ‘window into the cell'(the title :P).  Much lower mag then the above pic, though:
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The crowded complex nature of of the cytoplasm is important, obviously (though rarely depicted for simplicity). Also- there’s something called ‘fractal diffusion’ which was one of my fave concepts from biophysics course.   Anyway, below is a protein folding example of why we need more education in this area (!! 🙂 )

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And some more image inspiration:

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^David Goodsell is AMAZING

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So for my lamp/sculpture I will make transparent stickers via the protein data bank (http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/) and adhere them to fresnel lens cuttouts.  And make a few hundred, and put them on a vibrating translucent table, with white and UV light capability below (for fluorescent proteins!).  The 2d proteins will hopefully overlap a few layers thick and still be able to move, hopefully, as this would create a neat optical effect.  If they don’t move well, I could make a much sparser version with multiple vibrating levels.  This is sounding more appealing since Pete showed me this:

Love the way they move!  There like lil molecules, albeit sparse/slow.

I’ll conclude with more David Goodsell bliss (these are watercolors…):

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