Challenge: Create a functional, 3D-printed chamber to conduct neuroscience experiments and produce five exact copies.
The University of Montana Neuroscience Department had a tough task finding a way to get parts made for a research project that required chambers that housed fruit flies. The parts were not injection mold-able and would have been very costly and difficult to machine. Precision in the parts was required as a close sliding fit was necessary between the components. Acuity Design was in a unique position to supply the parts with the accuracy needed within the university’s budget with our CAD modeling and 3D printing capabilities.
The first step of the process was to create a 3D CAD model of the fly chamber and then 3D print it to check the sliding fit. After the CAD models were tweaked, the parts were 3D printed again to ensure the slight dimensional changes made to the model were correct. At that point, the chamber worked flawlessly so it was just a matter of setting up and running the 3D printer four more times until five exact copies were created. Finally, the 3D printed parts were vapor treated to provide a smooth and glossy surface finish. The finished parts have been used successfully in several experiments.