Scott Drapeau
Scott Drapeau
Scott is a designer in the Makers Lab. Contact Scott with questions about the Makers Lab, 3D printing technologies, and design project assistance.

Meet the Maker – Beltran Borges

This week’s maker is Beltran Borges, postdoctoral scholar of surgery at UCSF School of Medicine. We caught up with them to see what they made.

Q: What did you make?

I asked the Makers Lab to print clips of different colors that would attach to the cage-card holders in our mouse room. Clips courtesy of Thomas Forsyth and available to download on Thingiverse.

3D printed clips being used on a mouse container
3D-printed clips being used on a mouse cage

Q: Why did you want to make it?

Our lab works with a wide variety of mouse strains and colonies, each with their own complex genotypes. For my project, in particular, the strain and genotype of the mouse are a very important variable to consider when planning, performing, and analyzing data from experiments. I needed a visual, easy-to-identify system to help me keep track of different conditions.

Q: What was your process?

I first studied the mouse strain I work with to understand the nuances in the genotype and how these translated into the experimental groups I needed for my project. Once I received the clips from the Maker Lab, I assigned different colors for different genotypes and different behavioral tests that needed to be done in the mice. The clips are then attached and detached from the cages according to the genotype of the mice inside the cages and the tests to be performed.

Q: What was the hardest part of the process?

It was quite hard to devise a system that captured the complexity of the strain’s genotype and tests to perform but was still easy to use, not only by me but also by everyone in the team.

Q: What was your favorite part of the process?

On the flipside, I feel like coming up with the system was a lot of fun! A big part of my job is coordinating and designing these complex projects, so finding and employing tools to make my life and job easier is really cool.

Q: What do you want to make next?

I’m keeping my eyes on repositories online for cool designs I could use that would help my projects run smoother!