October 21, 2017 | ProgressTH This new version of our original F.Lab centrifuge we are working on will use a 12v DC motor, and a basic rocker switch to make the simplest and easiest centrifuge design possible. However, the design includes provisions to add in a microswitch to automatically turn off the motor when the cover is open, and a microcontroller (Arduino Nano) for timing functions.
Additionally, the actual centrifuge rotor has been slightly modified in SketchUp to include more sides and thus produce a smoother circumference. This may help further stabilize the rotor while in motion.
While the brushless 1806/2400 drone motor was strong and fast enough, it was expensive, a bit more difficult to find for those who don't order online, and interfacing with the ESC via an Arduino is not easy for many beginners who might otherwise want to tackle the project.
The thought process behind this new version is to make a platform simple enough, and with enough options for modification and improvement so that more people build the design.
From the beginning, we plan on offering two versions that will be available on Thingiverse, one with a solid fully 3D printed cover, and one that integrates acrylic so the rotor can be viewed when in motion. This lets makers who have access and experience working with acrylic have the option for a window, while the solid cover is easier for anyone with a 3D printer to make regardless of their resources and background.
We were pleased to see others make our original centrifuge including Make Magazine. Japan-based maker Shingo Hisakawa has already improved upon the original design, offering his improvements here for free on GitHub. We hope this new version attracts even more enthusiasts to try out opensource DIYbio hardware.