I was able to 3D print my valve this week! With the help of Andy and Mr. Riddensdale, I used the new 3D printer to print off four parts: two caps, one wheel, and one blocker for the water. It only took about 45 minutes for it to print, but then it had to sit in the acid-bath for another 45 minutes to get the foundation off that the printer had used to build the pieces. The parts came out very well, and are very sturdy for being so small. The part where the tube comes into the valve fits perfectly, but the outdents for the spring are a little large. It was determined that these could be sanded down for a better fit, but I was able to play around with the spring to make it a little bigger. Another problem I encountered was the holes for the water being a little small. I am going to poke a needle through the hole to make it a little larger where the plastic has flaked off a little.
This weekend, I plan to hot glue the parts to the spring, as well as hot glue the parts of the valve together. I hope to test the valve this week using the same system used for the transpiration lab back in April. I will measure the amount of water that goes through the valve, and will compare the data sets over multiple trials in order to see if the valve is able to work for a long period of time.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
This week I was able to start programming my 3D shunt for my independent research project! I am starting to get used to FreeCAD, the program I am using, and Andy is helping me a lot with all of the computer-dependent parts of my procedure. I was also able to find a suitable spring in a pen, which will be good for the expected water pressure. During my free time, I was able to finish my introduction and procedure, and will revise these as necessary as I get more information from hands-on experiences!
I also got information back from some medical companies regarding obtaining a shunt. It seems that it will not be possible to buy a shunt from a medical retailer, but there was hope for a demo valve from MedicalExpo. Although the product would be free, the shipping would cost $110 from France, so I had to turn this down. I will continue to look for a valve or shunt, but might have to keep my project to just seeing if printing a 3D valve is possible.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
This week I changed my idea for the project from the psychology of racism to building a shunt for people with hydrocephalus. I am going to use a 3D printer and some plastic tubing to see if I can make a more effective or cost efficient shunt. I just emailed MedicalExpo to see if they could give me a price on one, and hope to hear back from them soon. As for the 3D printer, I have drawn what I want my shunt to look like. It is going to be a "ball and cone" style shunt with a spring that will get pressed down with increased water pressure. This will be the regulator.
This week, I also completed extensive background research on hydrocephalus and shunts, and was able to apply this knowledge to planning my 3D printed regulator. The plan for next week is to start the 3D printing process. I might have to do this at my friend's house, but they said they would help me because of their experience with 3D printing. So far, I feel this is going to be a successful project! If I do not hear back from MedicalExpo soon, I might try to contact Memorial Hospital.