Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Joshua M. Pearce

Advisor 2

Gordon G. Parker

Committee Member 1

Rebecca G. Ong


To aid the continuing growth of open source tools in the research community, this thesis presents two broadly useful instruments which can be built and operated for a fraction of the cost of equivalent or inferior commercial products. The first device is a digitally-replicable scale, which provides a single framework for making measurements on the order of milligrams all the way up to tens of kilograms by supporting multiple types of load cells. The second device is a vacuum oven, which is validated using the first. The open source vacuum oven facilitates the dehydration of materials at low temperature, providing a fast method for drying thermally sensitive materials such as post-consumer waste plastics for recycling and biological specimens. These tools are provided with publicly available designs of both hardware and software components, assembly instructions, and performance data. This provides researchers with the opportunity to validate and improve upon the existing tools, customizing them to meet specific needs in the lab.

Included in

Manufacturing Commons