In eLearning, we offer a 3D printing service for University staff and departments. Using two printers, we create 3D models, parts, and equipment out of extruded plastic. Sometimes staff request objects as teaching resources (models of bones and molecules, for example), and sometimes they request objects to aid research projects. A fun aspect of our work here in eLearning is that these requests offer us a very minor (but fascinating) glimpse into the experiments and projects that are going on in departments across the University.
An especially endearing request came through recently from Dr Jenny Jandt in Zoology, who required a set of sugar dishes to set up as bee-feeders. The dishes fit together pefectly with a standard specimen jar, which is filled with sugar water and then inverted. Special notches in the dish allow the bees to dip their proboscides and feed on the sugar solution, without all the liquid draining out of the jar.
Dr Jandt conducts research on the behaviour of bees, and on how bees are influenced by the environment. Dr Jandt’s webpage can be found here. We admire Jenny not only for her scientific discoveries, but also for encouraging her students’ profound mastery of bee-related puns and wordplay: ‘The Honeymoon suite’, ‘No place like comb’, and so forth. The title of this blog post is a weak homage to these efforts.
More on our 3D printing service can be found here. We warmly encourage contact from any departments who think this service may be of use, even for projects less adorable than Jenny’s. We are always happy to discuss requirements and possibilities. Thanks to Jenny for keeping us up to date on the project, and for providing the photos for this post.