Page 42 - Campus Technology, January/February 2020
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cure fast enough because it was already full of a significant amount of water, and we wanted to get into testing right away. I turned and asked, ‘Does anyone have any kind of food or gum that will plug the hole?’ One guy had some Watermelon-flavored Trident gum, so everyone chewed a piece for 30 seconds; we put the pieces all together and put it right on the hole in the crotch, and it held.”
LSU administrators appreciate this effort in part because it highlights the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration. “I am from Engineering, and this started with Medical Physics, but the project goes beyond those,” Moore said. “We worked with Art & Design for some of the initial scanning, and the Textile Department for body scans, and then we moved into Architecture for their printer.” In addition, the lab has partnered with University of Washington Medical School, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Oregon Health & Science University.
The 3D scanning was done on a Human Solutions scanner. Software used for 3D scanning and slicing included Fusion 360 and Netfabb from Autodesk, KISSlicer, Rhino and Simplify3D. The 3D printing was done on a BigRep printer. Printing took 136 hours collectively for the model’s four parts.
Moore said the project may have opened the door to other types of collaboration on the LSU campus. “When I started going to different groups to talk to them about projects, I noticed a lot of students would say, ‘Wait, I didn’t know we had that piece of equipment on campus. I didn’t know you could just pay a fee and go use a certain piece of equipment.’ So it has opened up a dialog between students and faculty about what possibilities we have for creating projects where you work on the same bench as someone who is in a completely different discipline than you,” she explained. “We are also looking to do an event where we have people from different disciplines in the sciences come together with the art department and architecture to discuss different types of 3D
printing and modeling. We can get that dialog going by throwing people from different disciplines together to talk about common interests of modeling from computer to actual structures.”
It is still somewhat unusual for an undergraduate to play such a key role on a project like this, but Newhauser said it is becoming more common. “We like to create opportunities for undergraduates, and Meagan is a good example of how far you can run with a project. At LSU, the opportunities are there. They are not universal; you have to seek them out. But they are much more common today than they were a generation ago.”
Although Moore’s pilot was successful, more testing will be done in Newhauser’s lab and in clinical settings. “This is now a very promising research tool,” he said. “We have just started to use it for research projects in the clinic and we have some more research and development to do before it will be commonly used in the clinic, but we can see it coming. It is just a matter of time.”
David Raths is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.
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