Proposal

No annual report

Introduction

Proposal ID 2015-054
Submitted January 16, 2015
Owner lautzs@uw.edu
Department Anthropology
Category Machinery & Research
Funding Status Fully Funded
Metric Score 4.46

Contacts

Primary
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Patricia Kramer
  • Associate Professor
  • pakramer@u.washington.edu
  • 206-616-2449
  • 353100
Budget
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • John Cady
  • Fiscal Specialist
  • johncady@uw.edu
  • 206-543-5644
  • 353100
Dean
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Robert Stacey
  • Dean
  • bstacey@u.washington.edu
  • 206-543-5340
  • 353765

Descriptions

Abstract

The intention of this proposal is to obtain a computer to analyze high quality MRI and CT data, computer screens large enough to perform metric analyses, and a three dimensional printer large enough to print specimens (i.e., femurs, skulls). These items will be housed in the Primate Evolutionary Biomechanics Laboratory in the Department of Anthropology and will be used by undergraduate and graduate students. Students from rehabilitation medicine, biology and earth and space sciences will be recruited to use the materials as well. Investing in these materials provides students access to cutting edge technology while simultaneously expanding the research possibilities of students.

Category Justification

The faculty member who leads the PEBL group (Patricia Kramer) was a co-PI on a recently awarded NSF Grant (MRI #1428436) for a new high-resolution x-ray (CT) scanner This multimillion dollar, state of the art scanner will be accessible to graduate and undergraduate students for research. In order for students to examine data from the scanner, they will need access to a computer with a large enough processor, hard drive, and memory capacity to handle the amount of data produced by multiple CT scans. The current computers available to the students in the PEBL do not have the capacity to process this high quality data. The computer best suited for this data analysis is the Dell Precision Tower 7910 Workstation with two 23” monitors. The Dell Workstation can be used by students to process the files from fossils/bones they have scanned or CT and MRI files provided by other universities/research institutions. No software costs or renewal fees will be incurred. Currently software programs such as: AutoCad, ANSYS, SLICER, and ImageJ are either free or offer free academic licensures for students. In addition to the computer for analysis students would benefit from a MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer to be utilized to print museum quality replicas from the specimens they have scanned or from the files they have obtained. Currently there are 3D printers available to students on campus in Odegaard Undergraduate Library and the Health Science Library but these printers are too small to print out most life size bone replicas and limit the species and bones that students can investigate. The printer will enable students to examine fossils that they previously would have been unable to research and allow students to increase the sample population that they can investigate. For instance some of the current fossils/specimens we house are invaluable and this inhibits students from performing any research on them. With the new scanner students could scan these specimens (using the newly purchased CT scanner or surface scanners purchased in previous years with STF funds), process the data on the Dell Workstation, and then use the MakerBot to print museum quality specimens to perform their analyses. This also allows the PEBL to build a CT file database of our specimens and provides us with the opportunity to develop interdepartmental and intercollegiate relationships. This may afford our students access to other CT or MRI files from partner universities. Having access to the right computer and 3D printer will increase the research opportunities for students at the University of Washington (UW) in multiple departments. Students from biological anthropology, biology, rehabilitation medicine, and earth and space science departments will benefit from having access to this equipment.

Background

Three dimensional (3D) analysis has become the new standard investigative technique when evaluating the anatomical and functional components of living organisms. Currently in biological anthropology, 3D analysis is used for such research inquiries involving geometric morphometrics, force distribution in an anatomical system, and fossil modeling. Obtaining a computer with enough hard-drive space, large enough computer screens, and a 3D printer would help to enhance the research possibilities for students in biological anthropology, biology, earth and space sciences, and rehabilitation medicine.
The spatial orientation and shape of an animal’s physical features can be molded by genetics, environmental interactions, sex, and pathology. Studying the morphology and its orientation in specific species allows researchers to better understand why these traits evolved, how these characteristics dictate function, if and why they differ between sexes, and correlates of dysfunction in the anatomical system. In humans, the gradient of morphological variability is extensive. Most of the previous literature performed on human variability is or was conducted by actually measuring skeletal remains but this methodology has its limitations. For instance this method is difficult to use when measuring the tiny teeth of a mouse lemur. This method is also limiting because students may only have access to one specimen from a species or have a specimen they cannot perform measures upon. Some specimens are one of a kind fossils dated to the Eocene (56-33.9 million years ago) and direct measures cannot currently be performed on them. In other cases, our collection may only house one specimen from each species and this limits the research topics of the University of Washington’s students. For these reasons many researchers have begun to switch to 3D technology. With 3D technology you can use CT or MRI files of your own specimens or from other universities or research facilities to obtain the measures you need or build a model by using free software. If needed 3D printing allows you to print a museum quality model that can be used for your research (i.e., force analysis) and the future research of other students.
Three-dimensional technology also allows researchers to explore how the anatomy of species changes when forces are applied. The morphology of an animal responds when pressure is applied, with 3D technology students will be able to look at the anatomical and cellular shifts when force is applied to an anatomical system. This research is fundamental to understanding such things as: bone structure development over time in response to stresses, how pathology develops in response to stresses, and how new artificial morphology (i.e., prosthesis) effect the actual morphology it interacts with.
The Departments of Anthropology, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, and Rehabilitative Medicine have large undergraduate and graduate student research populations. Last year alone these departments produced 117 undergraduate research projects that were part of the University of Washington’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. Currently in the Primate Evolutionary Biomechanics Laboratory (PEBL) we have three undergraduate and two graduate students who could benefit from this new equipment in their own research projects. For instance, one student is investigating the morphological differences in the pelvis of human males and females. With access to these pieces of equipment, she could have expanded her research design to include the morphological difference that occur in the pelvis in response to stress loads. This could have influenced our understanding on why human males and females have different pelvic orientations but are equivalent in biomechanical efficiency. Another student is investigating how forces effect the shape of the human foot and lastly the third student is investigating forces incurred during pregnancy effects the lumbar spine of females.

Benefits to Students and the University

The PEBL has a history of investing in undergraduate student research. Prof. Patricia Kramer was one of five faculty professors at UW who received the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award in 2014 for her dedication to her students. Last year alone (2013-2014) Prof. Kramer had five undergraduates present their research at the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium and four of those students presented their research at the 2014 American Association of Physical Anthropology annual meeting in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. One of these students is currently preparing for publication of their research. Providing UW students access to this equipment is essential; recently much of the morphological research in anthropology has turned to 3D analysis to validate new techniques and confirm old literature, to investigate new questions, and to more easily share specimens between academic institutions. In addition to anthropology students, biology, earth and space science (ESS), and rehabilitation medicine will be recruited to perform research using this equipment. PEBL actively collaborates with students in all these disciplines so they will be notified about this new equipment through demonstrations/workshops, departmental emails and faculty outreach. This proposal serves to provide research tools to students in multiple departments, which has the potential to create new interdepartmental relationships and increase research possibilities for students at the University of Washington.

Departmental Endorsements

Janelle S. Taylor, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology -- I write to endorse this STF proposal for purchase of a Workstation Computer and 3D Printer to be housed in the Primate Evolutionary Biology Laboratory (PEBL). This equipment will significantly expand the ability of students to research and work with fragile and irreplaceable specimens in existing collections, by allowing them to be studied using noninvasive 3D technology, and by allowing for the creation of museum quality model replicas, which can be subjected to the application of force to examine biomechanics of human anatomy. The purchase of this equipment would allow existing resources to benefit more students, not only in anthropology but also students in rehabilitation medicine, biology, and earth and space sciences. Therefore, I support this request.

Patricia Kramer, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology -- Investments by the NSF and the UW Provost’s Office in the imaging capabilities of UW have recently produced opportunities for students to do cutting-edge research in fields from engineering to anthropology. We now have the ability to scan relatively large specimens with high resolution, allowing us to, for instance, be able to see the microstructure of entire bones. Additionally, online repositories for 3D digital scans of fossils and other hard to access specimens have begun to be available, opening the door to opportunities for students to explore the natural world in ways unimaginable a decade ago. Manipulating these huge data files and then using the resultant information, however, requires that students have access to computers with unusually large memory/ storage capacity and specific analysis software. Additionally, some of these irreplaceable specimens, to which students do not typically have access, cannot be appreciated fully without physically evaluating them and the 3D printer will allow them to print specimens that they otherwise would not be able to (ever) see.

A goal of PEBL, the lab that would host this system, is to encourage students, who do not perceive themselves as possessing strong quantitative skills, to do analyses that require complex analysis. PEBL has had tremendous success in this regard with over a dozen undergraduate students presenting their own research at national meetings and seven of them are currently enrolled in high-caliber graduate programs. Despite our success, one arena of research that has not been available to students is the analysis of the fossils of human ancestors, because we don’t have access to most of them. This system will rectify that lack.

I fully support this STF application and will facilitate the use of the computer and printer by students from across campus.

Dan T.A. Eisenberg, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology -- Dr. Patricia Kramer supervises a truly impressive amount of high quality undergraduate and graduate student research. I have little doubt that these new proposed resources will be put to very good use for student projects and help to facilitate cutting edge learning while doing in a supportive laboratory community. 3D printers are increasingly being used for a broad variety of purposes, and this printer will likely end up having many uses beyond what we can envision in this proposal. My anthropological genetics laboratory has already made use of a 3D printer to produce molecular biology lab supplies that would have cost thousands of dollars or been impossible to purchase on the normal lab supplies markets. These 3D printed supplies are being put to use by students in their research and in classes. However, the 3D printer we've used is that of a friend of mine on the other side of the country who generously has helped design and print things for my lab and then ship them to us--not a sustainable method or one where the students can be as involved in the production process. In addition to Dr. Kramer's many students, I know my undergraduate and graduate students studying anthropological genetics will find this printer a boon for their research. Printing lab materials will help students to unleash their creativity and to better understand the design of the tools they already use.

Joni Marts, Academic Adviser, Department of Anthropology -- I wholeheartedly support this proposal. The University of Washington is known as a world-class research institution. It is not only appropriate, but essential, that our social scientists be able to use proper equipment to boost their research acumen. We need to show that research throughout the UW is respected and supported. This is particularly true when our scientists - undergraduate, graduate and faculty - can expand our positive reputation worldwide.

Diane Guerra, Director of Student Services, Department of Anthropology -- As the Director of Student Services in the Anthropology program I am writing in support of the STF request for a new computer system and 3D printer. The department has limited funding and awarding this request would allow our undergraduates to achieve their goal of doing undergraduate research that will impact the department as well strongly impact the undergraduates as the move forward in their academic career goals.

Installation Timeline

Upon approval and funding, this equipment will be purchased and installed.

Resources Provided by Department

Students will be provided instructions on how to operate the materials from the PEBL undergraduate and graduate students. A three year warranty, along with a three-year service and maintenance plan, will be purchased with the Dell Workstation and 3D MakerBot printer to ensure their upkeep. Students must cover the cost of printing materials for their research projects.

Access Restrictions (if any)

The PEBL will house the computer and 3D-printer. Students who wish to perform research will be granted access during normal building hours and will be given a key to the PEBL. Prof. Kramer will provide keys to students who wish to use the equipment for research purposes. There will be an online schedule for students to schedule the times they wish to access the equipment. Students will be required to sign in on a sheet every time they use the equipment and log on to equipment using a special User ID.

Student Endorsements

Jessica Youngblood, Undergraduate in Anthropology -- As a student currently participating in undergraduate research, I understand the importance of having access to essential equipment in order to properly conduct one’s research. While Dr. Krammer and her students continue to elevate University of Washington as a research institution, undergraduate research provides the core foundation for students to grow into world class researchers. Having access to a 3D printer and a new computer system will allow both undergraduate and graduate students to grow as well as investing in the Anthropology Department at University of Washington.

Megan Rue, Undergraduate Student, Department of Anthropology & Department of Biology-- I am writing to express my support for this STF proposal to purchase a workstation and 3D printer. Providing graduate and undergraduate students access to cutting edge equipment is necessary so that they may produce original research. Funding this proposal in particular is fundamentally important because it has the ability to support research in multiple departments. I myself would have loved to have access to this equipment during my own research endeavors. These pieces of equipment will give students at the University of Washington an educational and research advantage

Tiffany Pan, Graduate Student in Biological Anthropology -- One of the most common challenges faced by student researchers in anthropology is access to subjects or specimens for data collection. Digital technologies have allowed researchers to share their valuable 3-dimensional data resources, bypassing the physical constraints of geographic distance or fragility of small and rare specimens. Innovative research is being proposed by several students to collect data using high-resolution CT and MRI scans gathered from various sources, thus fostering collaboration across different disciplines and creating unique learning opportunities. Now this work is just limited by the lack of a computer that can process this high quality data. This Workstation will make it possible for students in many disciplines to access rich, 3-dimensional data and complete cutting edge research.

Stephanie Cruz, Graduate Student in Sociocultural Anthropology -- The UW is a world class institution, Research 1 school and is on the cutting edge of most research. Unfortunately, most of those efforts were stymied after the recession. As we continue to rise from the moratorium we must also update the tools and technology with which to produce research worthy of an R-1. Purchasing this workstation and 3D printer would mean bringing UW Anthropology to the level of its peers. This would be an investment not only for this generation of students but the many who will come and stay.

Acquanda Stanford, Graduate Student in Sociocultural Anthropology -- believe that students must be able to have the resources they need in order to be successful in broadening their intellectual scope in order to be successful in bringing new information to higher education, thus affecting critical changes within and outside of the academy. To do this, it requires access to technological instruments in order to launch their success. Please take this opportunity to invest in this student's endeavor for a new computer system and scanner.

Lillian Prueher, Graduate Student in Sociocultural Anthropology -- This computer system and 3D printer would add tremendously to the work being done by students not only in the UW anthropology department, but across the university. At a time when national funding agencies are simultaneously emphasizing having qualitative components to medical and scientific research project and investing in STEM fields and cutting edge science, investing in equipment that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration between anthropologists, medical researchers and other scientists is critical. These students need to learn how to work effectively with each other, and how to use and incorporate cutting edge technology into their research if they are going to be competitive when they leave this campus. Housing this kind of technology in the anthropology department, specifically, will encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships that could benefit students' research and future careers and that might not otherwise develop.

Sarah Stansfield, Graduate Student in Biological Anthropology -- This computer and printer are important to be able to fully utilize the new high resolution CT scanner Dr. Patricia Kramer is a co-PI on. This scanner and computer combination will allow more undergraduate students to complete meaningful research that will better prepare them for graduate school or science careers. Dr. Kramer's proven record of excellent undergraduate mentorship makes this additional equipment especially well placed, as she has been able to guide many students in their first research opportunities.

Jeannie F. Bailey, Graduate Student, Biocultural Anthropology -- Bringing a 3D printer to the anthropology department would be invaluable for both undergraduate/graduate research, as well as, creating a more extensive fossil collection in the anthropology department. Casts of fossilized skeletal material costs thousands per unit. A 3D printer would allow us to 3D print fossil casts and then use them for both research and undergraduate teaching. Also, a 3D printer would allow us to print our 3D musculoskeletal models – a number of graduate students in our department have projects running biomechanical simulations on 3D computational models of skeletal parts (e.g. the lumbar spine).
Dr. Kramer has a long history of facilitating undergraduate research and then advancing undergraduates on to top graduate schools in biological anthropology. This technology would expand and enrich the research capabilities for undergraduate anthropologists. Additionally, this printer would be useful to various groups across campus, including but not limited to, the Burke museum, UW Biology and all the anatomists at UW.

Items

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
1

Dell Precision Tower 7910 Workstation

$10,063.49 1 $10,063.49
Description

This is a computer workstation, two LED screens, and a three warranty and service plan.

Processor : Dual Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2620 v3 (6C, 2.4GHz, Turbo, HT, 15M, 85W)

Operating System : Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit, English

Video Card : Dual NVIDIA® Quadro® K4200 4GB (2 DP, DL-DVI-I) (2 DP to SL-DVI adapter)

General Purpose Compute Solution (GPGPU) : NVIDIA® Tesla® K20C, 5GB, Graphics Processing Unit

Memory: 128GB (8x16GB) 2133MHz DDR4 RDIMM ECC

HDD/Storage Controller: Integrated LSI SAS 3008 12Gb/s SATA/SAS controller - SW RAID 0, 1, 10 C1 SATA 3.5 Inch, 1-4 Hard Drives

1st Hard Drive : 2TB 3.5" Serial-ATA (7,200 RPM) Hard Drive

2nd Hard Drive : 2TB 3.5" Serial-ATA (7,200 RPM) Hard Drive

Multi-Select Monitor: Dell 23 Monitor - P2314H (x2)

Hardware support service: 3 Year ProSupport with 3 Year NBD Limited Onsite Service After Remote Diagnosis

Complete Care : Year Accidental Damage Service

Justification

The current computers in the PEBL cannot handle the amount of data produced by one MRI or CT scan. The screens available to perform metric analysis are either too small or damaged. When performing three-dimensional analyses it is essential to have two monitors because of the amount of windows you need to have open and accessible at one time. This includes a three year warranty and maintenance plan to ensure the upkeep and safety of the workstation.

2

MakerBot 3D Printer

$6,304.03 1 $6,304.03
Description

This cost is just for the printer itself.

Justification

The current 3D printers that we have access to are not large enough to print certain anatomical parts (e.g. femurs, skulls) and this limits the scope of research that students can perform.

MakerBot Makercare SVC Plan Card

$727.50 1 $727.50
Description

Covers routine maintenance and damage for three years. We only purchased three years because STF recommends to only purchase three years, see manual.

Justification

This is the warranty and care package. We purchased the plan for three years to help maintain and insure the MakerBot.

MakerBot Smart Extruder Replic Z18

$186.23 1 $186.23
Description

Justification

This component is required in order for the machine to function.

Total requested: $17,281.25

Total funded: $17,281.25

Group Funded Item Change in Unit price Change in Quantity Change in Subtotal
2

Duplicator 5S - Steel ExoFrame

$1,829.00 1 $1,829.00
Description

Duplicator 5S - Steel ExoFrame printer

Justification

This is a supplemental proposal to purchase a different model of the 3D printer that we originally requested. In the original STF we quoted Makerbot Z18 3D printer. This new printer by WanHao USA has all the same functionality as the Makerbot, has the same print volume, and does so at lower purchase price as well as having better maintainability.

We came to this conclusion when we were originally looking to purchase the Makerbot after being awarded this STF. We reached out to the Jake Kulstad who maintains multiple 3D printers in Odegaard library as well as Mark Ganter in Mechanical Engineering and they discussed multiple issues with the Makerbot's extruder. Jake said that anytime the filament needs replacing or the print area needs to be re-adjusted the extruder has a 1 in 4 change of being damaged making the part unusable, resulting in the need to purchase a new extruder for about $190. Dr. Ganter suggested the WanHao, a model he has worked with before, because it has the same print volume that we need. Finally, there is a class action lawsuit against Makerbot for the problems with this extruder (http://makezine.com/2015/07/14/makerbot-faces-class-action-lawsuit-over-faulty-extruders/).

Supplemental request: $1,829.00

Deicision: Funded

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
1

Dell Precision Tower 7910 Workstation

$10,063.49 1 $10,063.49
Description

This is a computer workstation, two LED screens, and a three warranty and service plan.

Processor : Dual Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2620 v3 (6C, 2.4GHz, Turbo, HT, 15M, 85W)

Operating System : Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit, English

Video Card : Dual NVIDIA® Quadro® K4200 4GB (2 DP, DL-DVI-I) (2 DP to SL-DVI adapter)

General Purpose Compute Solution (GPGPU) : NVIDIA® Tesla® K20C, 5GB, Graphics Processing Unit

Memory: 128GB (8x16GB) 2133MHz DDR4 RDIMM ECC

HDD/Storage Controller: Integrated LSI SAS 3008 12Gb/s SATA/SAS controller - SW RAID 0, 1, 10 C1 SATA 3.5 Inch, 1-4 Hard Drives

1st Hard Drive : 2TB 3.5" Serial-ATA (7,200 RPM) Hard Drive

2nd Hard Drive : 2TB 3.5" Serial-ATA (7,200 RPM) Hard Drive

Multi-Select Monitor: Dell 23 Monitor - P2314H (x2)

Hardware support service: 3 Year ProSupport with 3 Year NBD Limited Onsite Service After Remote Diagnosis

Complete Care : Year Accidental Damage Service

Justification

The current computers in the PEBL cannot handle the amount of data produced by one MRI or CT scan. The screens available to perform metric analysis are either too small or damaged. When performing three-dimensional analyses it is essential to have two monitors because of the amount of windows you need to have open and accessible at one time. This includes a three year warranty and maintenance plan to ensure the upkeep and safety of the workstation.

2

MakerBot 3D Printer

$6,304.03 1 $6,304.03
Description

This cost is just for the printer itself.

Justification

The current 3D printers that we have access to are not large enough to print certain anatomical parts (e.g. femurs, skulls) and this limits the scope of research that students can perform.

MakerBot Makercare SVC Plan Card

$727.50 1 $727.50
Description

Covers routine maintenance and damage for three years. We only purchased three years because STF recommends to only purchase three years, see manual.

Justification

This is the warranty and care package. We purchased the plan for three years to help maintain and insure the MakerBot.

MakerBot Smart Extruder Replic Z18

$186.23 1 $186.23
Description

Justification

This component is required in order for the machine to function.

Duplicator 5S - Steel ExoFrame

$1,829.00 1 $1,829.00
Description

Duplicator 5S - Steel ExoFrame printer

Justification

This is a supplemental proposal to purchase a different model of the 3D printer that we originally requested. In the original STF we quoted Makerbot Z18 3D printer. This new printer by WanHao USA has all the same functionality as the Makerbot, has the same print volume, and does so at lower purchase price as well as having better maintainability.

We came to this conclusion when we were originally looking to purchase the Makerbot after being awarded this STF. We reached out to the Jake Kulstad who maintains multiple 3D printers in Odegaard library as well as Mark Ganter in Mechanical Engineering and they discussed multiple issues with the Makerbot's extruder. Jake said that anytime the filament needs replacing or the print area needs to be re-adjusted the extruder has a 1 in 4 change of being damaged making the part unusable, resulting in the need to purchase a new extruder for about $190. Dr. Ganter suggested the WanHao, a model he has worked with before, because it has the same print volume that we need. Finally, there is a class action lawsuit against Makerbot for the problems with this extruder (http://makezine.com/2015/07/14/makerbot-faces-class-action-lawsuit-over-faulty-extruders/).

Overall total funded: $19,110.25

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