Designs for the manufacture of manipulable plastic DNA/RNA building blocks for learning life science
Author(s)Lemanski, Bethany I
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
J. Kim Vandiver.
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The subject of this thesis is the design of custom injection-molded manipulable DNA building blocks for use in a hands-on life sciences educational kit. The new design of the DNA building blocks is meant to replace the existing building blocks, which are hand-constructed from 12 existing LEGO® blocks and glued together by volunteers. The goals of the new design are to reduce the part count, increase the ease of assembly and outsource it to the end-user, and reduce dependence on the availability of LEGO components without sacrificing function and while keeping mold and production costs low. The functional requirements for the building blocks were determined through detailed conversations with the designer of the existing LEGO DNA Learning Center Set and its supplementary curriculum materials. Simple mechanical models and 3D-printed prototypes were used in an iterative design process. The part count for each building block was reduced to 3, which require 6 unique molds. Several design options for each of the three subcomponents of the DNA building blocks are presented for further assessment of mold cost and manufacturability.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 93).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology