Blog Post 6 GRBcelL BioPrinter

This week we finalized the mechanical parts. From the plates shown on last week, a final aluminum stand was built to hold the now heavy aluminum head which was attached using t-nuts and aluminum triangular stops. I was retrained to use the drill press, and, using a menagerie of drill bits, I spent a good part of the week carefully measuring and boring out holes such that the three aluminum plates that would hold the syringe base, syringe head, and syringe lip were perfectly aligned for one linear rail and one lead screw attached to a stepper motor. Though this took some time to do, the parts came together looking flush and professional. The machined parts were sanded, and the team looked at ways of optimizing the Tormach to cut parts. A few pieces had to me cut, bored, and sanded a second, and in one case a third, time due to a slight 2 millimeter lean in the top of the cage that was creating unreasonable amounts of friction against the machine. Arduinos were used to test the stepper motor to ensure that the syringe’s plunge was successful, and, though we ran into technical error in utilizing the stepper motor, eventually the machine’s tilts were resolved and the plunger would seamlessly slide up and down along the linear rail. Lastly, to make the mechanics of the design as smooth as possible, the lead screw and linear rail were cut flush with the base of the bottom metal plate. By the end of the week, the full mechanics of the bioprinter were fully functioning.

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