January 15, 2016 | F.Lab This week we got an opportunity to take part in a molecular biology workshop at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). You can read more about the workshop itself here. We also thought we'd bring along some of the lab equipment we developed, including 3D printed tube racks (some of which we gave to KMUTT as a token of appreciation) and our centrifuge.
We even got to use the centrifuge briefly for one part of the protocol, along side other industry-made centrifuges so we could contrast and compare.
For a real small group of DIYbiologists, our lab equipment would probably work great. For large groups participating in a workshop, probably not so great. So perhaps in the next iteration of our centrifuge, or perhaps a lower-cost workshop version, we will make it easier to use.
That's the great thing about going to a real lab and working with real professionals who have a wealth of experience and knowledge. You can learn a lot about what professional equipment can do, what it cannot do, and ways to make comparable systems for a fraction of the cost. It looks like at least for our centrifuge, the closest system in the lab that it resembled was 5 times the cost, but had similar features. Of course, ours cannot match the larger centrifuges which include timing, g-force settings, and an array of rotors with much larger capacities.
What's next? We got to use a PCR thermocycler and an electrophoresis system. We were in fact designing an electrophoresis system and planning on doing a PCR thermocycler afterwards. Now with this experience in hand, it will help us better inform our upcoming designs.
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