Categorized | Technology

Michigan Tech Scientist Uses Customizable 3-D Print Designs To Cut Laboratory Setup Costs

open-source 3D printer Akin to how open source designs have helped to drastically bring down the costs of software applications to very comfortable levels so that they can now be accessed by a large cross section of the society, open-source hardware designs are now aiding the expansion of science by offering experimental opportunities to almost everyone in the scientific community. In this context, it is interesting to note that the laboratory at Michigan Technological University has published an entire library of open-source optic components (3-D printable) in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

Joshua Pearce, a part of the spearheading research team of open source designs for hardware and an associate professor of the Department of Engineering and Material Science at Michigan Technological University, adds that the library would be immensely helpful because of the fact that it offers a low cost and flexible tool that can be used by the general public both to teach as well as conduct research in the realm of optics hardware. The designs that were published were made flexible using the computer aided design package called OpenSCAD and were printed with the help of RepRap open source 3-D printers. The open source Arduino microcontroller was used to design the electronics and controls.

Scientific studies that have been conducted have found that the reduction in cost for some of these optics hardware components is as high as 97 percent. For certain other optical components, only one percent of the current investment that went into their commercial production was required. Pearce cites an example of an optical rail wherein the sales price of one meter of the commercial sample is about $380 and the open source alternative would be able to print parts for the same rail at a cost less than what one would pay as sales tax for the former. The best part is that for the open source model, there is no sales tax to be paid, no shipping costs, and no time lost in waiting for the shipped parts to reach you.

A fallout of open-source hardware designs that have been developed and are 3-D printable has been the broader participation of the scientific community in both the research and the teaching of optical experimentation. Proprietary methods that existed prior to the development of open source hardware design and printing have not been this helpful. To equip a full-fledged undergraduate laboratory with optical equipment and setup using open-source printed versions, it costs a mere $500, as compared to the $15000 that one would need for setting up a laboratory with the commercially available versions.

Joshua Pearce asserts that this new method offers great savings for those schools that work on a low budget and are strapped for cash. However, a bigger advantage that he sees is that researchers can fabricate their own research equipment necessary for conducting experiments without having to rely on commercial supply. Joshua Pearce firmly believes that open source 3-D printing is going to revolutionize the manufacture of all scientific equipment in the future and he sees this as just the beginning of it all.



Comments are closed.

Archaeological Museum in Croatia

Coffee Flavours

In this section, we take a quick look at the different modes of preparation of this wonderful drink and the methods followed across different countries and cultures.

Office Party

Following these tips can help ensure you don't become the talk of the party, for all the wrong reasons but can leave a lasting impression for all the right ones!

Home remedy for lowering blood pressure

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association investigated the effects consuming a small amount of commercially available dark chocolate, which contained flavanols, on blood pressure.

Art of beer

To get a good beer to enjoy, we need some rules to observe. In particular, the storage, temperature, cleaning the glass and play a major role.

Children like to be challenged

If you want to find educational toys that your youngsters will take pleasure in enjoying with, the most effective factor to do is have them check it out.

Recent Posts

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast, Australia

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is the most popular wildlife and coastal rain forest attraction on the Gold Coast. This National Trust of Queensland property features hundreds of Australian animals in their natural habitat, and guests who visit Currumbin have the unique opportunity to experience Australia’s native wildlife in an up close manner. Certified by the Advanced Eco-Tourism Society, the sanctuary is an alluring world in which one can discover nature at its finest through displays, shows and guided tours.

Dry Or Wet Cat Food?

Cats are meat eaters, and even though commercially prepared food is formulated to address their specific nutritional needs, most store-bought cat food will contain both animal and plant materials, supplemented with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.

Monitoring Software

The Internet can be tricky for parents to deal with because kids often need to use the Internet for school, but parents parents are often worried about the various activities that their children might be engaged in. Peer-to-peer file sharing can lead to lawsuits and even a criminal prosecution. Some teens might engage in activities online that are embarrassing to the family or may lead to viruses or hackers accessing the computer. Fortunately, there are various forms of monitoring software that can offer parental control.

Monitoring software can also be very helpful when parents are trying to learn what their children are up to, such as whether they are attending class or doing their homework.

Many teens use the computer purchased specifically for schoolwork to play computer games or chat with friends. Monitoring software can not only record activities on the computer, but smartphone software such as Mobile Spy can silently record the teen's GPS information, text messages and phone call information.

Monitoring software sits silently on a computer or mobile device and monitors all of the activities carried out on the device, encouraging the teen to consistently use the device for communication. Activity is usually uploaded to an online account so that the parent can monitor activity from anywhere without having to get close to the phone. This is crucial since parents will usually not have physical access to the phone without arousing suspicion.

Many monitoring programs also come with keystroke loggers, which log keys recorded on the computer, a contextual blocker, and features that allow parents to block certain websites. All of these features allow parents to have a peace of mind when allowing their teens to use the Internet.

Follow Us