JeremFuge (a.k.a. LC-LE:fuge)

A DIY and cheap, yet efficient, modular and user-friendly centrifuge.
Building a genuine lab tool for less than 50€.

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The JeremFuge (LC-LE:fuge) is related with the the UNO’s 2016 SDGs by reducing inequalities set by expensive lab tools such as centrifuge, thermocycler, microscope, incubators and so on.
But it would also induce a better quality of education because the price will be affordable for high schools allowing children to practice and learn how to conduct a research project, no matter their social or economic background.

This project is distributed under Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Laboratory centrifuge are usually very expensive ; the simplest ones cost at least 200$. In this context, schools or labs with limited means can rarely afford such tools and students can not make experiments that require centrifugation before they work in a professional lab. Centrifugation being necessary for many scientific manipulations, it would be useful to develop one that would be low-cost and lab-efficient : this is why we decided to build the LC-LE:Fuge, AKA the JeremFuge.

All the components of the JeremFuge are cheap and all machines necessary to build it are commonly found in fablabs. This makes it accessible to a wide audience, since the price is below 100$.

The JeremFuge is composed of an Arduino controlling two buttons, a rotary encoder, a LCD screen and an ESC, that is connected to a brushless motor. All the system is powered by a 12V 20A power supply. The user uses one of the button to switch between setting the rounds per minute (RPM) and the time of centrifugation (in seconds) ; the rotary encoder is used to set one of the two value once it has been selected with the button. The LCD screen gives a feedback to the user by showing the set RPM and time and also the value that can be changed with the rotary encoder. The second button starts the rotation of the motor according to the settings ; the Arduino can be stopped by pushing the button a second (and so the rotation).

This version of JeremFuge is not yet finished. The JeremFuge Bêta is the only one that has been fully build sofar, can only be used from a computer with Arduino IDE and is not compatible with LCD screens. The JeremFuge 1.0 will be ready soon, with full LCD compatibility. See the codes in the Files section.

What we did :

The first challenged we faced was the the arming of the motor. A lot of brushless motors need to be armed, which means setting the max and min value that the ESC will send to the motor. This operation can be hard with an Arduino since the code changes depending on the motor. On the three different motors we worked with during trial and error, one needed to have the highest value set, then a delay, then the lowest ; an other needed to have the value incremented slowly up to the max value, then a delay, then decremented to the lowest value ; the last one didn’t need to be armed (we kept that one for the final version because it was the easiest one to use and the cheapest).

As an tube holder we reused this : The JeremFuge is compatible with any tube holder of small size (less than 12cm with the tubes).

An other difficulty has been the LCD screen ; to be properly set, it requires 12 different cables on the breadboard plus a potentiometer to control the contrast of the LCD. We found the connections and the Arduino code on the Internet. Furthermore, we worked a lot on separate codes : one to control the button to switch between the two settings, one to control the motor, one to display elements on the LCD… When attempting to merge those codes, we faced challenges every time. We wanted to obtain a real-time update on the LCD screen, a smooth change in the two setting values, as few delays as possible and for the electronic part to be as simple as possible ; for this reason we debugged every time we considered our code to be too slow or too unpractical for the user.

For the final results, we welded all the cables to a breadboard ; doing so, we minimized the space taken by the electronics and make the centrifuge more solid and reliable. The high number of cables makes this step difficult. However, doing so our LCD stopped working ; even when changing the connections we didn’t manage to make it work again. We made a slightly different version for this reason and because we lacked the time to change the LCD : a JeremFuge that can be controlled by a computer with Arduino IDE ; it is less practical, but works without...

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Box for the Arduino, LCD screen and buttons

x-eps - 9.98 kB - 11/25/2016 at 09:09



Plexiglass box for the tupe holder

corel-draw - 19.90 kB - 11/25/2016 at 09:09



Box for the power supply

x-eps - 12.09 kB - 11/25/2016 at 09:09



This is the code we used for our final draft, which worked perfectly. Before the weldering, when the LCD stopped displaying. We are currently investigating why. But we can't guarantee the proper functionment of this code, even if we believe that it's more a hardware/connectivity problem.

x-arduino - 2.68 kB - 11/25/2016 at 07:59



This is the Arduino code we used when our LCD died, which can happen to anyone. So use that if you don't have a LCD displayer, use this code and display the rpm and time configuration on your PC.

x-arduino - 2.07 kB - 11/25/2016 at 07:56


  • 1 × Brushless Motor BE1806-2700kv | 3~4S LiPoly
  • 1 × ESC 20A 2-6 cell Lipoly
  • 1 × Power Supply DC 12V 20A 240W
  • 1 × Rotary Encoder 24-pulse | 5 pins
  • 1 × LCD Display Module 16x02 | Backlight

View all 14 components

View all 12 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    The JeremFuge has several parts that can be built independently : the electronic part (involving welds and electrical connecting), the computer programming (Arduino) and the development of the box.

    It is recommended to start with the electronic part or computer programming because they require most of the work and the structure of the box relies on your connections.

    • Electronic part : Here is a pattern of the electrical connecting :
  • 2
    Step 2
    • Arduino program: User choices the RPM and the TIME thanks to two buttons, the first to select between RPM and TIME, the second one to increase or decrease the value. These values are printed on the LCD screen so the user can control it at any time. Then, once he has set correctly his values, he can launch the centrifuge.
  • 3
    Step 3
    • Box preparation : The box must contain all the components and allow a modularity. It also must take into account the power supply warming and the vibration of the centrifuge.

    The files for 3D printing the tube holder are available in the link in the Details section.

    The files for laser cutting the boxes are in the Files section.

View all 4 instructions

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