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DIY and save: A scientist's guide to making your own lab equipment
Date:11/18/2013

rcher's work becomes much easier and cheaper. "Equipment designs can be shared as easily as recipes," he said. "Scientists from all over the world are contributing designs." And it may change the dynamic of graduate education. "We get a huge influx of students from China, India and Africa, in part because they have so few good labs," Pearce said. "If they could print their own equipment, they wouldn't have to leave their home to study unless they wanted to, and many more talented people could contribute to experimental science. We could have a truly global scientific community."

But for Pearce, perhaps the best thing about open-source 3D printing is the open-source part. Makers, as 3D printer aficionados are called, not only use designs posted on the Internet. They also post their own and provide feedback. "It creates positive scientific karma," he said. "You can share your ideas and get help from the community, and it speeds things up so much. It's like having a global R&D team dedicated to your work ."

"Open-Source Lab" is written for a wide audience, from novices to those who are "at one with the force of open source," who can skip the introductory material and get right to work printing their own equipment.

At the close of the Acknowledgements section, Pearce cautions the reader not to rely too heavily on existing designs. The whole point of open-source printing is to join the community and share, share, share. "If the hardware is not good enough for you or your lab, remember, it is free, so quit whining and make it better!"


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Contact: Marcia Goodrich
mlgoodri@mtu.edu
906-487-2343
Michigan Technological University
Source:Eurekalert  

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