3D Printable Raman Probe

This a 100% 3D printed Transmission Raman Probe (low resolution) W/built-in cuvette holder/Raman filter

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The purpose of this project is to expand upon my previous project, since my knowledge has expanded as well, this Raman probe will provide a spectral resolution of approximately 15 cm-1.This project will also be utilizing a radical new design concept inspired by the work of Eduardo H. Montoya R, Aurello Arbildo L. and Oscar R. altuano E. in a scientific journal available here at; I will be utilizing a DSLR Nikon D3400 24.2MP Bluetooth camera as my detector, a reflecting mirror and 1800 mm/gr diffraction grating (holographic) as the spectrometer and two fiber optic cables.

Update: 03/13/2018: 4:36:PM

I removed the Creative Commons license from my work here, as explained in my mirrored project for the Hackaday 2018 contest. I did this because I figured "what the hell," I think this is the first 3D printed Raman probe that I know of anyway and if it works, it makes it even that much better because then it becomes the "father" of all 3D printed components of this caliber, and why not make such a thing free for every one, with no restrictions :)

This is my Nikon D3400 DSLR camera that I will be using as my Raman detector:

Specifications for the Nikon D3400: 

  • Effective Pixels (Megapixels) 24.2 million.
  • Sensor Size. 23.5 mm. x 15.6 mm.
  • Image Sensor Format. DX.
  • Storage Media. SD. SDHC. ...
  • Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution. 5 frames per second.
  • ISO Sensitivity. ISO 100 - 25,600.
  • Movie. Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 60 fps. ...
  • Monitor Size. 3.0 in.

After some careful research, I have changed the fiber optic cable package kit to the one you see above because it is clear from documentation that 200um fiber core is certainly the right size for Raman spectroscopy, which was brought to my attention from another user's comment on my page...Thanks :)

The figure below is the collimation kit for the exit point to the spectrometer, this is pricey @ around $200.00 US but there is NO work around on this, even for a low resolution Raman probe @ 15 cm -1, this and the 2nd figure must be incorporated! 

This is the low-insertion loss cable that attaches to my laser collimation tube assembly that fit to the front face of the probe.

Below is the blueprint drawing, which is also in the build instructions.

I will present far greater details about this project soon...

*note, the 88mm length of the probe is not coincidental, this is the focal length of my laser line coming from the laser collimation tube assembly.

Raman probe and alignment

*UPDATED* 3/10/2018 This is the final production ready version of the Raman probe and laser aignment guide block. .STL mesh file

x-zip-compressed - 147.58 kB - 03/10/2018 at 21:21



02/11/2018 This update includes a re-designed Raman Probe (needed because I had to widen the slot for the Raman filter,) and redesigned the re-focusing lens to accomodate the 13mm doublet lens. Tessallation - Netgen/very fine.

x-zip-compressed - 4.05 MB - 02/11/2018 at 15:53



Updated the spectrometer enclosure ( fixed alignment issue @ entrance slit as it related to 1st reflecting mirror, aligned @ centerline now.) All other files the same. 1) Diffraction grating mounting block 2) Concave mirror mounting block 3) Lid (for enclosure) 4) Spectrometer enclosure 5) Rear fiber optic port 6) front fiber optic port 7) Raman probe platform 8) Raman probe 9) Re-focusing lens (fits in rear fiber optic port) 10) Laser alignment guide block 11) Laser collimation tube Sec. 1a 12) Laser collimation tube Sec. 1b 13) Laser collimation tube Sec. 1c

x-zip-compressed - 44.62 MB - 02/08/2018 at 23:25


  • 1 × 3D - printed Raman Probe
  • 1 × Raman spectrometer enclosure 3D printable
  • 1 × Raman spectrometer enclosure Lid 3D printable
  • 1 × Diffration grating mount Holographic type 3D printable
  • 1 × M4 bolt 12 mm length quantity 3 12 X 0.5 mm

View all 18 components

  • DremelFuge - A One-Piece Centrifuge for Rotary Tools

    David H Haffner Sr03/12/2018 at 17:46 0 comments

    Yep, I found this little gem on the web 2 weeks ago and downloaded the mesh file and got it 3d printed (the material I used was Nylon-PA12) and man alive does it work! Only cost me $7.00 US currency. This little 3d printed lab quality centrifuge when coupled with a good Dremel rotory tool (35000 rpm,) can spin down a sample @ 2136.498 times the force of gravity, enough for a quality DNA extraction.

    Here is some pics of the one I got printed and I have already tested it @ full speed with 6 1.5ml sample tubes.

    This design is open source and can be found here:

    This my Dremel rotory model# and specs:

    Dremel model#3000 rpms - 5000 - 35000

    G-force @ 35000 rpm
    = 2136.498

    Shaft Radius = 0.156 cm (this is the shaft I used since the centrifuge center hole was designed to accomodate a standard Dremel shaft accessory.)
    Rpm's = 35000

  • Laser Line Test #2 [150mW] Aries Laser [532nm]

    David H Haffner Sr03/11/2018 at 16:49 0 comments

    Good results with this test, 1218 Angstroms of intensity counts @ 532.15nm CW (center wavelength)

    FWHM @ 3.9nm

    The medium I used was Isopropyl alcohol, 99.9% lab grade purity thru a standard 1cm quartz cuvette.

  • Final Production Ready Raman Probe Version (23)

    David H Haffner Sr03/10/2018 at 21:18 0 comments

    Here it is, ready to be 3D printed along with the laser alignment guide, this version will be made out of Nylon-PA12 and dyed glossy black (polished), same with the alignment guide block.

    Below is the drwaing for the Main Raman probe unit

    Below is the drawing for the alignment guide (laser)

    I will uploading the .STL mesh files for this shortly...

    Final Production Ready Raman Probe Version (23)

  • Raman Probe 2.0.1 V23 re-designed Using Fusion 360

    David H Haffner Sr03/09/2018 at 12:30 0 comments

    I completely re-designed the concept of my Raman probe using autocad Fusion 360, which is completely an awesome CAD program! 

    This is the complete unit below

    This is the re-designed laser alignment block which attaches to the probe

    Below is the main body

    It took me about half the day to learn how to use Fusion 360 and definitely worth every effort :)

  • Technique & skill More Important Than Size Of Fiber Optic Core...

    David H Haffner Sr03/06/2018 at 15:04 0 comments

    I did this experiment as a demonstration to illustrate the importance of technique and skill when it comes to dealing with fiber optical equipment and it's related optics. I do have some experience in this field, thanks to my time in Bell Atlantic and Verizon (telecommunications companies,) yes it is important when dealing with very weak Raman signals that the size of the fiber core is relevant, but is NOT the only gospel in the good book, alignment, aperture size, core material and cladding all play a significant part in acquiring the best  Raman signals possible.

    That's not the only game in town though, focal length, selecting the correct reflective mirror, diffraction grating and laser selection all work together to achieve  a proper Raman spectrum.

    I'm presenting a laser spectrum below imaged through a 50um fiber optic cable, very small core, fused silica. I constructed a test platform to simulate the Raman probe with my laser attached and aligned with the fiber optic collimator at the exit area.

    This is the laser spectrum itself ( wavelength range set @ 400 - 700nm)

    So as you can see, it is possible to successfully image a very weak laser image with proper skill and technique, specs for this image capture are:

    f/stop - 4.5 (aperture)

    exposure time: 1/60 sec

    exposure bias - minus 5 step

    focal length - 18mm

  • Exposure & Luminosity Testing for Raman Probe V2.0.1b

    David H Haffner Sr03/05/2018 at 17:41 0 comments

    I had to finally conduct this critical test, especially since Raman signals are so very weak and luminosity can suffer a bit because of the notch filter I will be using, so I used my tactical flashlight (Bell & Howell...yeah the one on T.V.) and my variable polarizing filter (which graduates from fully opened to fully closed 0 - 100 %)

    The purpose here was clear and logical, the 1st panel showed a blank live screen coming from my camera, the spectrum is there you just can't see it because the luminosity is so low. The following panels show the progression from normal shutter exposure settings to the most extreme ISO sensitivity @ 25600.

    The primary wavelengths are in the green (514nm - 590nm) and orange to red (590nm - 614nm). Which I can verifiably resolve with this camera's cmos detector.

  • Verified AOI/Focal Distance for Raman Probe Design & Spectrometer Enclosure

    David H Haffner Sr03/03/2018 at 15:22 0 comments

    *note, the term AOI means "angle of incidence." (the angle that an incident line or ray makes with a perpendicular to the surface at the point of incidence.)

    This is pertaining to the diffraction grating.

    Focal distance means the collmination of light focused from the mirror to the diffraction grating.

    Ok, for this test I couldn't use the POF(plastic optical fiber,) or my regular fiber optical cable, but that's ok because this was purely an absorption test to prove how well my Nikon D5600 camera's sensor can resolve the peaks of a Holmium Oxide wavelength calibration standard as compared to using my previous ELP machine vision cam. 

    She blows it away! So, I am very confident now that when I put together all the components of this setup that I will be able to successfully resolve Raman peak signals @ the wavelengths according to the research paper upon which this project is based.

    Kind of like verifying someone else's experiment, not that I don't believe them, but I've never had the chance before to verify someone else's work before and this is very thrilling to me :)

    1st up are the RAW data files from RSpec, this is the reference spectrum (my Solux lamp.)

    Next is the sample spectrum, Holmium oxide#2034. ( F/stop - 5.6/exposure time[1/10 sec] ISO - 12800

    focal length - 34mm

    This is the sample (Holmium oxide,) processed using Spectragryph 1.2.8

    This is both the raw sample after it is divided by the reference spectrum (Solux lamp) and the smoothed sample (cleaned up,) caveat about using too much smoothing, every calculation of order removes a little bit of actual data so be careful and only use it if U really need to. 

    A Dark frame was also taken to subtract from both the sample and reference, in order to remove as much noise as possible.

    In conclusion, here I was able to resolve 6 peaks with clarity just by using "free-air" light transmission and correct focusing. By using proper focusing and spectroscopy techniques a cmos sensor can certainly be utilized as a viable means of detecting not only wavelengths in the UV/VIS range but also in the Raman as well. 

  • Learning About F/stop and Exposure time for The Nikon D5600

    David H Haffner Sr03/02/2018 at 12:42 0 comments

    Still using my POF (plastic optical fiber) setup, I shot a few spectral images of my Tactical LED flashlight @ different f/stop and exposure time intervals so I can start to get a good feel and understanding how this camera works and these are some of the results presented from RSpec spectroscopy processing capture software:

  • Winning 1st Prize by Stealing Someone Else's Hard Work...

    David H Haffner Sr03/01/2018 at 15:09 4 comments

    I felt compelled to talk a little about personal honor and how it may be sorely lacking today in this "open source" continuum we call the digital verse. When I started my Raman Probe project, I got the inspiration for it by researching homemade raman spectrometers on Google images, I ran into this interesting project that seemed like it may be what I had been looking for, since my previous attempt at this technique just where not panning out.

    I certainly was doing something wrong and needed to learn a lot more, so I studied this paper; , still kinda frustrating because they left a lot of critical information out pertaining to the build part, good job on the Raman data part, but it left me having to figure out how they arrived at focal distances and what not.

    Anyway, the point of this is, I could have just straight up ripped off their project piece by piece, giving no credit and hoping no one would ever find it on the internet...Ha, ha, ha, always remember if YOU found it, then someone else can too.

    I for one, am a man of honor, they have a creative commons license so I not only gave them credit, also the link to the research paper and the group of individuals involved,

    Secondly, I redesigned most of their project so it would work for me, so I could design it on FreeCad. I redesigned the spectrometer enclosure, the probe itself and the mirror and diffraction grating and re-calculated errors I found in their original paper and fixed them. 

    This is truly what is meant by "inspired by."

    A real genuis, @Alain Mauer has a project called; Arduino Glasses a HMD for Multimeter, he clearly put in the hard work and intellect necessary to pull that off, he deserves the source or not, the individual who blatantly ripped it off, won 1st prize in a contest and is now selling it for a profit, and getting comments about what a "genius" he is for doing it.

    He has almost 1/2 a million views on Youtube, that's unacceptable everyone, most of us here are former engineers, programmers and what not from a various backgrounds but we all have the same thing in common, respect and honor as human beings, it's not really that hard to police ourselves and call out those who choose to commit the cardinal sin of intellectual theft for profit.

    Lets just try and think about that a little more in our endeavours when we are creating such wonderful devices.

  • Experimenting With POF (plastic optical fiber) Part III

    David H Haffner Sr02/28/2018 at 22:19 0 comments

    This time I am using my 6500K CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) at two different exposure settings: 1) F-stop @ 5.6 and F-stop @ 10.

    As you can tell though, the plastic fiber is really noisy no matter how I try and clean up the signal, either in the Nikon capture software or in Spectragryph processing software, still it is an interesting experiment because this is the same type of optical fiber that is used in the automotive manufacturing industry today because it is inexpensive, reliable and easy to work with.

    My original project I had in mind for it was a fiber optic telecommunication's device using a photo transistor as the light transfer medium, who knows I still may strike that project back up :)

    The image above is F-stop 10 exposure time: 1 sec ISO-25600

    The image above is F-stop 5.6 exosure time: 1/13 sec ISO 25600

View all 27 project logs

  • 1
    Laser Alignment Guide Block Assembly

    This is the laser collimation tube assembly guide alignment block.

  • 2
    Spectrometer enclosure assembly

    This is the complete enclosure assembly with the draft drawings.

  • 3
    Platform for Raman Probe Assembly V 01.0b

    This is the draft drawing for the V 01.0b Platform with M4 setscrew which secures the Raman probe to the base of the platform. The holes on the platform are there on purpose for 2 reasons, 1 for cost savings on material when 3d printing and 2 they are 13mm in dia. which are standard for test tubes.

View all 9 instructions

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A. M. Aitken wrote 02/08/2018 at 17:08 point

Heads up about the fiber.  It may be 'low loss' for splicing purposes, ie light exiting the same model fiber, but in terms of getting light from one place to another it's probably going to be poor.  Very thin core and low numerical aperture.  It's also germanosilicate, which may cause problems with Raman.  The quoted paper uses a 200um fused silica fiber with higher NA, which is like a drain pipe to a drinking straw.

  Are you sure? yes | no

David H Haffner Sr wrote 02/08/2018 at 19:12 point

Hey A.M.Aitken, UR points are well taken, the reason I think this fiber will work is 1) core-to-cladding concentricity, thse fiber cables from Thorlabs are made at their facility and tested against a master low insertion loss cable, so the tolerances of the fiber core are aligned to within ±5 degrees of the connector key.

2) On the original paper I quoted, I also pointed out a few mistakes they had made as far as why the were having trouble focusing in on the whole spectrum, U cannot use a flat mirror and expect it to collimate and focus the incoming light properly.

3) Alignment and proper focus from the inserted fiber to the exiting fiber are far more important than fiber diameter or molecular make up.

4) this is where I get most of my hardware from when I need precise components:

  Are you sure? yes | no

David H Haffner Sr wrote 02/08/2018 at 22:32 point

Also, I updated my recent log entry to reflect the type of single mode fiber I am using from Thorlabs.

  Are you sure? yes | no


[this comment has been deleted]

David H Haffner Sr wrote 02/08/2018 at 14:19 point

Thanks for the compliment :)

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David H Haffner Sr wrote 02/04/2018 at 17:38 point

Thanks Jan :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ted Yapo wrote 02/04/2018 at 15:33 point

Congrats on hitting the front page with this.  Well done!

  Are you sure? yes | no

David H Haffner Sr wrote 02/04/2018 at 15:34 point

Oh man I didn't even know!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ted Yapo wrote 02/04/2018 at 16:55 point


  Are you sure? yes | no

Jan wrote 02/04/2018 at 17:00 point

haha yeah. Editors don't message you about that. I had that exact same moment when a friend told me my LED clock was on front page...

  Are you sure? yes | no

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