The 3D-modelling program monolith allows us to translate a stack of 2D images into a 3D model. Through multiple parameters we can change the way in which the images are read and we can come up with many different models for one reaction.
We created a stack of 2D images of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction and we optimilized the model. We did the same for other micro- and macroscope processes like single diffusion displacement, oscillation diffusion, growth of amoeba and the long-term change of temperatures on earth. By doing this we get a feeling for the different 3D structures that can be created. Some of the structures are really complex and inspiring. The image on the right is such an example, it shows the growth of amoeba over time (where time is the z-axis).
For the final printing we are able to use the Formlabs and Connex3 printers at the Applied Labs of Industrial Design. Formlabs is a desktop stereolithography printer that builds a model layer by layer using photopolymerization. There are currently two of these printers in the Applied Labs, one of which is broken. A possibility for this project is hacking the broken Formlabs printer so that we could feed it information during printing. This is a really promising idea but nobody in our group is that good with hardware so we decided to head in a different direction. The other printer is the Connex3. It uses extrusion and has some really nice features: it can print in a wide range of colours, it can print with two materials at a time and it can print with material with properties like flexibility and transparency.
We are currently experimenting with both printers but later on in the project we will turn to one printer in particular.