Monday, April 30, 2018

24th, 26th, and 30th

I've been struggling to finish my paper. It's close. I keep telling myself that I can work on it at home or on the weekend, but more imminently important assignments and other extenuating circumstances have prevented me from making as much progress as I've wanted to.

I will be able to finish this week. At this point, thesis takes top priority (which should've happened earlier). I also will probably have secured at least two judges this week. I've contacted a couple of professors at SMU; one responded no, and the other didn't. I also figured that most professors are consumed with EOT testing and things. My best chance for judges are a couple of people that my family and I know.

I won't be able to present this week, but will next week. I'll just have to find a day that I don't have an AP (mon, tues, or fri).

So in summation, I've been adding, editing, and removing from my paper.

 - Noah

Friday, April 20, 2018

Two for one (4/18 + 4/20)!

I was granted access to the full "pro" version of the app I use for 3D design, so I now have much more capabilities. (the pro version is usually $300/year, but as a student I can have a free subscription!) I've been toying around with it a lot. I can now import images that I can then sketch construction lines over. I drew an idea that I had for the spinneret in procreate, then imported the JPEG to shapr3D and sketched over the drawing to create a 2D face. What I did then was draw an axis of revolution to revolve the face around. This way, I have a 3D representation of my idea. And now, I can print it out. I am still in the process of refining the design so that there shouldn't be any trouble printing, but also printing different versions for presentation purposes. (I'll insert images when I get home so you can actually see it.)

The printer has also been fixed. The extruder nozzle was cleaned out and we replaced the PLA filament. I think the old one was too old and becoming too brittle to properly feed into the extruder.

So, ultimately, the prototype "spinneret" will be constructed with the following:

Sketching/design: Procreate
3D modeling/refinement: Shapr3D
GC Code/printer programming: Cura
Printer: Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D Printer
Filament: 1.75 mm Black PLA (polylactic acid) by MakerBot

My goal is this weekend to finish my paper and the prototype, so that I can get the paper edited and reviewed next week.

Today, I worked on my paper more. Next week, after I finish the rough draft of the paper, I will more actively seek out judges. Or, if I have time, I'll send some emails.

- Noah

Monday, April 16, 2018

writing s'more

Today, I wrote a few more pages on my thesis. I wrote about the chemical and physical processes in the formation of native spider silk, the set-up and equipment of the SLU experiment for biomimetic synthesis, and the biomimetic processes involved (both chemical and physical).

Yesterday evening, I went and got more PLA filament for the printer, and hopefully fixed the extruder, so I'll try printing the design I currently have tonight. I also requested free (student) access to the full version of the 3d designing app so that I can have multiple designs, so I don't have to start over each time. Either today or tomorrow it should be granted. Then I can update or modify the design if necessary and reprint.

- Noah

Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 12th is right here

With the craziness of the power out and STAAR testing, I forgot to post. I was going to write it when I got home thursday, but I forgot. :P

I filled out the form for judges, so hopefully I'll be able to find a couple. My mom (works at UT Southwestern) says there are plenty of grad students at UT southwestern who would probably want to judge 'cause it'll count for service hours. So if she gets a list of students and projects, she can share them with UT Southwestern.

My grandma also worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner who worked with limb recovery patients. One of the applications of my thesis could relate to the medical field, so could my grandma judge (me)...?

I plan on these next coming weeks to finish up my paper and edit it. As for the prototype, hopefully I can print a final version by the end of this week. The only thing I really need to address is the aperture of the spinneret, to get it down to the right size.

- Noah

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Finishing the Spinneret Design (maybe)

I’ve been having some trouble with the printer, so I wasn’t able to anything with that.

Today, I started a blueprint and a more final design. I tried a different approach with the designing app. This latest edition has ports where buffer solutions can be introduced into the spinneret, thus creating the desired pH gradient.

I plan on printing a larger version that would be more presentable. The only thing that isn’t quite right about the design is the diameter of the apature, which is too large.

The red arrows indicate the ports for the buffer solutions. The blue arrows indicate the flow of the spidoin protein solution.

I need to get a move on with my paper though, I have about the number of pages required, but it’s not edited at all, and I still have the majority of my actual thesis to write in.

- Noah

Friday, April 6, 2018

Continuing the paper

Today, I continued working on my paper. This weekend (if not tuesday), I will re-work the design for the spinneret.

I think what I may do is make a scaled-up version (with a cutaway?) and an actual size. This will allow me to show more detail, especially when presenting it, while also making it easier to print.

In my paper, I've divided up the sections, and made smaller sub-sections, so I know exactly what information I'll be putting in my final paper.

My goal for next week is to have the actual-sized model of the spinneret completed. I will then focus on my paper, and work on the larger-scale on the side, so it should be finished in time for the final presentation.

I should have my paper completed within a few weeks so that I can get it checked/corrected. I also need to find some judges!

- Noah