Week 3: Hands-on in the laboratory

A lot of progress has been made this week. During the first meeting we put together our findings about pattern properties. We concluded that patterns can have a big influence when it comes to pressure and shock resistance and this is also something we can investigate and apply easily. Our global idea is to let the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction create a pattern that follows a pressure distribution. We can apply this in a product like a bicycle saddle, a chair, barstool, a shoe sole or a pillow.

pressure1small SIT-CATscience1A basic visualization of a pressure distribution in 2D and 3D

Tuesday Zjenja informed us that the chemicals would be delivered shortly. As preparation we built a holder for our petri dishes that allows us to make clear pictures. This is important because unwanted shadows and disturbances interact with the grayscale intensity and this gives an unwanted pattern in monolith. The holder also gives us room to interact with the reactions.

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It took a while before the chemicals for the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction were delivered but this Thursday we received the essentials and we were able to start our work in the lab. We walked through the process with Zjenja and executed the reaction for the first time. We are still missing some materials so next week we will be doing more accurate experiments. This week we had time to figure out the best way of getting a homogeneous pattern. We posted our findings in the research folder.

Next week we will start interacting with the reaction. How can we transfer the information about the pressure distribution to the reaction? Some ideas we want to try out:

  • Letting the pattern start at a certain position
  • Using heat
  • Using light
  • Touching the reaction
  • Changing the concentrations
  • Adding indicator
  • Starting the reaction on a surface with relief

Besides executing the reaction we will also be focussing on printing new models. We need to get a better grip on monolith and the connex3 printer to get a model in which the pattern is as clear in 3D as it is in 2D. One of our ambitions is to print with multiple materials at the end of next week.

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