Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Centrifuges are commonly required devices in medical diagnostics facilities as well as scientific laboratories. Although there are commercial and open source centrifuges, the costs of the former and the required electricity to operate the latter limit accessibility in resource-constrained settings. There is a need for low-cost, human-powered, verified, and reliable lab-scale centrifuges. This study provides the designs for a low-cost 100% 3-D printed centrifuge, which can be fabricated on any low-cost RepRap-class (self-replicating rapid prototyper) fused filament fabrication (FFF)- or fused particle fabrication (FPF)-based 3-D printer. In addition, validation procedures are provided using a web camera and free and open source software. This paper provides the complete open source plans, including instructions for the fabrication and operation of a hand-powered centrifuge. This study successfully tested and validated the instrument, which can be operated anywhere in the world with no electricity inputs, obtaining a radial velocity of over 1750 rpm and over 50 N of relative centrifugal force. Using commercial filament, the instrument costs about U.S. $25, which is less than half of all commercially available systems. However, the costs can be dropped further using recycled plastics on open source systems for over 99% savings. The results are discussed in the context of resource-constrained medical and scientific facilities.
Sule, S. S.,
Pearce, J. M.
Open source completely 3-D printable centrifuge.
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