March 3, 2016 | ProgressTH V.1 is already available on Thinigverse here, published under F.Lab, a local DIYbio lab we collaborate with.
V.1 used a brushless drone motor and ESC along with an Arduino Nano. It works and has been used for DNA extraction and even has been brought into a university biotech lab for use during protocols.
It is however, a bit touchy. We've optimized the code as best we could to get the potentiometer to give at least two speeds, but the ESC likes to cut power and is frankly, doing a bit too much thinking (for a drone) and not enough for a centrifuge!
V.2 and onward will seek for easier assembly, cheaper components, and an easier user experience. V.3 and onward will be developed based on user feedback.
Changes we're working on:
- Microswitch to activate spindle when lid is closed and to shut it off when it is opened, like small industry centrifuges, enabling quick spins;
- Timer function for 1 minute, or perhaps programmable timing;
- Means to view rotor while it spins and;
- Interchangable rotors to include PCR tubes and future innovations.
This is already based on our own experience using the centrifuge. There are many kinds of centrifuges you can use in a lab from gigantic full-option machines, to small, cheap, straight-forward designs (pictured below). We'll be trying to match these smaller, cheaper versions but with perhaps an added timer function.
We'll also be trying to integrate our opensource microswitch, but make this design modular enough so you can use a manufactured (and more reliable) switch if you prefer.