As solicited over twitter by TheFrogBlog, I designed a T7 Bacteriophage model for 3D printing via Shapeways. And, here it is: ](/images/Bacteriophage_Model.jpg) Bacteriophage T7 It's a little fragile at the tips of the legs, so I might increase the size a little to make it more robust. Also, the neck is a little weak where the head joins the body, so I may have to lower the head a little to strengthen that connection.
I've written before about Biocurious, the nascent Hackerspace for Biology that is raising money to rent out a real, no-kidding biotech lab full of professional equipment for community and citizen science. It's ambitious, it's brilliant, and it's already resulted in a study that's been published in Nature Medicine (a very prestigious journal even for well-equipped lab scientists), long before they reach their funding goal. The study in question was an excellent example of the power of citizen science and collaborative work.
A week or so ago I sat down in OpenSCAD and spent some time modelling something I've wanted to make since I got my Makerbot almost a year ago. For a while, I hadn't made it because OpenSCAD's compiled binaries didn't support extrusion, which I needed to create a twist-y backbone. For a while after that, I was exceedingly busy with marriage and mousetraps. I still am busy with mousetraps but we all need a holiday now and then!
Just for love, I designed and printed myself a little sculpture of a DNA double-helix on a small base. It's going to be my desk ornament in the lab for the next few months while I try to finish my project on time and write a thesis. Of course, nowadays if you've made something you're proud of, it's a trivial thing to offer it for sale to others with similar nerdy interests!