Open-Source 3-D Platform for Low-Cost Scientific Instrument Ecosystem
Journal of Laboratory Automation
URL with Digital Object Identifier
The combination of open-source software and hardware provides technically feasible methods to create low-cost, highly customized scientific research equipment. Open-source 3-D printers have proven useful for fabricating scientific tools. Here the capabilities of an open-source 3-D printer are expanded to become a highly flexible scientific platform. An automated low-cost 3-D motion control platform is presented that has the capacity to perform scientific applications, including (1) 3-D printing of scientific hardware; (2) laboratory auto-stirring, measuring, and probing; (3) automated fluid handling; and (4) shaking and mixing. The open-source 3-D platform not only facilities routine research while radically reducing the cost, but also inspires the creation of a diverse array of custom instruments that can be shared and replicated digitally throughout the world to drive down the cost of research and education further.