Projects


Fluoresence plate-reader box with blue LEDs (draft)

This is a work-in-progress documentation for laser-cut and 3d-printed fluorescence plate reader with box and raspberry pi camera. The assembly instructions will be added soon. Here is our version repository: https://github.com/SynBioUC/Raspiscope. This work is conducted in the synthetic biology network, Santiago, Chile.

OpenFlexure Microscope V2

This is the second "stable" release of the digital 3d-printed open flexure microscope; ongoing development lives on the Github page https://github.com/rwb27/openflexure_microscope and the accompanying paper is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4941068 (the paper is open-access). This microscope is available through http://www.waterscope.org/ as a kit.

Ball bearing pellet dispenser

A handy dispenser for sterile ball bearings used in some library preparation/DNA extraction protocols, releasing a single ball bearing per press of the plunger. Without this device, this stage in the protocol requires a scientist to retrieve tiny ball bearings from a bag, one by one, while wearing gloves and maintaining sterile technique - a substantial drain on time and patience. It is easily capable of holding more than 100 ball bearings. A handy dispenser for sterile ball bearings used in some library preparation/DNA extraction protocols, releasing a single ball bearing per press of the plunger. Without this device, this stage in the protocol requires a scientist to retrieve tiny ball bearings from a bag, one by one, while wearing gloves and maintaining sterile technique - a substantial drain on time and patience. It is easily capable of holding more than 100 ball bearings. This project was designed in DesignSpark Mechanical.

OpenFlexure Microscope V1

Optomechanics is a crucial part of any microscope; when working at high magnification, it is absolutely crucial to keep the sample steady and to be able to bring it into focus precisely. Accurate motion control is extremely difficult using printed mechanical parts, as good linear motion typically equires tight tolerances and a smooth surface finish. This design for a 3D printed microscope stage uses plastic flexures, meaning its motion is free from friction and vibration. It achieves steps well below 100nm when driven with miniature stepper motors, and is stable to within a few microns over several days. This design aims to minimise both the amount of post-print assembly required, and the number of non-printed parts required - partly to make it as easy as possible to print, and partly to maximise stability; most of the microscope (including all the parts with flexures) prints as a single piece. The majority of the expense is in the Raspberry Pi and its camera module; the design requires only around 100g of plastic and a few nuts, bolts and other parts. The optics module (containing the camera and lens) can be easily swapped out or modified, for example to add epifluorescence or change the magnification. The location with OpenSCAD design files can be found here: https://github.com/rwb27/openflexure_microscope Associated Publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4941068 . Other projects that inspired this work: OpenLabTools microscope http://www.openlabtools.org/.

KORUZA optical communication unit

KORUZA is a low cost, open source and open hardware, wireless optical system, making the free space optical (FSO) technology available to masses and providing an alternative to Wi-Fi networks. 1Gbps/10Gbps networking connectivity for locations up to 150 m apart, using an eye-safe infrared light beam. http://koruza.net/

Enclosure for the Rostock Max V2 3D-Printer

This is a documentation to build a DIY enclosure for the 3D printer model Rostock Max V2 (should also work for V3) that is part of the RepRap family of 3d printers and sold by SeeMeCNC and through various resellers. Enclosures are typically self-built, because a USA patent (attached) seems to be an obstacle for most providers to sell them as standard accessory. This project uses PLA and ABS prints with the printer itself, laser cut acrylic sheets and a few metric of-the-shelf components only. Enclosures are desirable to improve the quality of especially ABS prints by increasing the temperature of the print environment and by preventing quick temperature changes e.g. by drafts. ABS print especially benefit from both a lower temperature difference between the heated printer bed and the environment because the material shrinks more than PLA when cooling down, which leads to warping and splitting of prints. Please share if you implement further improvements for this enclosure. My design files can be seen and modified online in the Onshape project: https://cad.onshape.com/documents/d590c2db52ca428e97d68baa/w/b00a0e533d044792ac7fa99f/e/468f1fb1db04

CNC fly food dispenser

The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is one of the most important model organisms in biological research. Maintaining stocks of fruit flies in the laboratory is labour-intensive. One task which lends itself to automation is the production of the vials of food in which the flies are reared. Fly facilities typically have to generate several thousand vials of fly food each week to sustain their fly stocks. The system presented here combines a cartesian coordinate robot with a peristaltic pump. The design of the robot is based on the Routy CNC Router created by Mark Carew (http://openbuilds.org/builds/routy-cnc-router-v-slot-belt-pinion.101/), and uses belt and pully actuators for the X and Y axes, and a leadscrew actuator for the Z axis. CNC motion and operation of the peristaltic pump are controlled by grbl (https://github.com/grbl/grbl), an open source, embedded, high performance g-code parser. Grbl is written in optimized C and runs directly on an Arduino. A Raspberry Pi is used to generate and stream G-code instructions to Grbl. A touch screen on the Raspberry Pi provides a graphical user interface to the system. This documentation describes the design and build of the hardware. Software source code and operating instructions can be found here: https://github.com/WaylandM/fly-food-robot

Parametric Gel Electrophoresis System

Gel electrophoresis systems are one of the most common tools of scientists working with DNA in experiments. Yet existing commercial solutions are expensive and non-customizable. Gel electrophoresis systems do not follow many standards so with the open source parametric system presented here, there is nothing that stops you from building a gel system in the size that most suits your needs - for a fraction of the prize of a commercial system. This gel system was designed to be of research grade quality, safe, easy to build and easy to modify. This documentation contains construction files for building a small gel electrophoresis system with a gel size of 100x70mm and two comb slots. This documentation also explains how to customise the online design around 10 main and 7 minor parameters (without installing any software) and how to easily download and make the modified gel box.

Acylic 3d printed door

These bricks were designed as part of a 3d printer enclosure and can easily be reused for any other hardware.

uFluid

Microfluidics flow control system

Translucent Electrodes with Pores on Different Length-Scales

We developed these fabrication protocols to test the influence of electrode porousity on different length scales on the performance of biophotovoltaic devices (BPVs), as described in the associated publication [Preprint DOI to follow soon; published paper DOI]. BPVs are bioelectrochemical devices powerd by photosynthetic microorganisms. Since BPVs rely on light as energy input, the electrodes had to be translucent as well as porous and conductive.The metal oxide indium tin oxide (ITO) was chosen as high-performance transparent conductive oxide material with nanoparticles and non-porous electrodes (as reference) commercially available. This protocol can also be used for other nanoparticle-based materials such as ZnO, ATO, TiO2, and more.