Laser cutting dark room for Biomakespace

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Jenny Molloy

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Aug 8, 2021, 6:50:16 PM8/8/21
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Hi All

Biomakespace needs a box cutting out of black acrylic to make a mini dark room for our transilluminator which is used to look at bands of DNA. The idea is to have a hole in the top to put a smartphone over and take a picture, something like this;

Bbox-with-FoldaView.png

I made a basic design using MakerCase and Inkscape and put it on the Biomakespace Trello card with this task: https://trello.com/c/fIWxovAO/117-build-a-transilluminator-dark-box-for-main-lab

Would anyone be interested in thinking about a way to improve the design so there is a gap in the front of the box through which you could reach with hands to cut the gel? It would need to let in as little light as possible so would need to be covered. I have 3 mm black acrylic, flame retardant blackout fabric (as used in theatres) and 1 mm black rubber gasket available as materials but those aren't limiting.

Also, if anyone is using the laser cutter in the near future and would be interested to have a go at cutting and constructing one, that would be great! If no one is keen to try an improved design we can go with the original one which took me all of 5 min but will do the job (hopefully) for purely taking images of the DNA bands on the gel.

Jenny

Jenny Molloy

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Sep 8, 2021, 4:27:38 PM9/8/21
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Harry and I discussed this idea at a recent "See the Biomakespace" tour and he mentioned he might be able to do the laser cutting, which would be fabulous!

Harry - would this still be OK? 

Jenny

Tony Naggs

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Sep 8, 2021, 4:39:12 PM9/8/21
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I wonder if the shiny surface of acrylic would cause problematic or distracting reflections? My inclination would be to use (laser) plywood.


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Harry Blakiston Houston

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Sep 13, 2021, 3:44:20 AM9/13/21
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Happy to help,

 

Do you want this cut out or are there still some design changes your wanting to make?

 

Who is best to chat to on this to get the latest info and what needs to be done to get to from now to a prototype.

 

Sincerely,

 

Harry

 

 

 

From: Tony Naggs <tony...@gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, 8 September 2021 at 21:39
To: Biology Club <biolog...@makespace.org>
Cc: hcb...@gmail.com <hcb...@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Laser cutting dark room for Biomakespace

I wonder if the shiny surface of acrylic would cause problematic or distracting reflections? My inclination would be to use (laser) plywood.

On Wed, 8 Sep 2021, 21:27 Jenny Molloy, <jenny.mo...@gmail.com> wrote:

Harry and I discussed this idea at a recent "See the Biomakespace" tour and he mentioned he might be able to do the laser cutting, which would be fabulous!

 

Harry - would this still be OK? 

 

Jenny

On Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 11:50:16 PM UTC+1 jcmcop...@gmail.com wrote:

Hi All

 

Biomakespace needs a box cutting out of black acrylic to make a mini dark room for our transilluminator which is used to look at bands of DNA. The idea is to have a hole in the top to put a smartphone over and take a picture, something like this;

 

 

I made a basic design using MakerCase and Inkscape and put it on the Biomakespace Trello card with this task: https://trello.com/c/fIWxovAO/117-build-a-transilluminator-dark-box-for-main-lab

 

Would anyone be interested in thinking about a way to improve the design so there is a gap in the front of the box through which you could reach with hands to cut the gel? It would need to let in as little light as possible so would need to be covered. I have 3 mm black acrylic, flame retardant blackout fabric (as used in theatres) and 1 mm black rubber gasket available as materials but those aren't limiting.

 

Also, if anyone is using the laser cutter in the near future and would be interested to have a go at cutting and constructing one, that would be great! If no one is keen to try an improved design we can go with the original one which took me all of 5 min but will do the job (hopefully) for purely taking images of the DNA bands on the gel.

 

Jenny

Chinna Devarapu

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Sep 13, 2021, 5:55:58 AM9/13/21
to Harry Blakiston Houston, tony...@gmail.com, Biology Club
If one is going through the laser cut option, maybe it is worth looking at Iorodeo's designs.

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Yours,
Chinna.


Ganga Chinna Rao Devarapu,
Photonics Researcher,
Cork Institute of Technology,
Cork, Ireland.

Harry Blakiston Houston

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Sep 13, 2021, 2:44:11 PM9/13/21
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Is there not a Biology club on tonight? I tried the link on Meetup but I was the only one there?

 

Seems like a nice design, I’d be perfectly happy to put some time in over the coming weeks to get this done.

 

Would anyone like to come and give me a hand at Mill road Makespace?

Jenny Molloy

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Sep 18, 2021, 12:12:30 PM9/18/21
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Hi Harry

Thanks for taking this on! I made the design - it took all of 15 min (MakerCase plus drawing a circle in Inkscape!!) so for sure there are improvements that could be made but it should do what it's supposed to do for this first pass and then it can be refined to a better prototype with user feedback.
I'm likely around in Makespace next weekend building some mini-transilluminators if you wanted some company while cutting. 
I'm on leave so finally have some time to finish a couple of hobby projects!

Jenny

Harry Blakiston Houston

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Sep 20, 2021, 4:42:23 AM9/20/21
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Hello Jenny,

 

This all sounds good, let me know which days you are in as it would be good to have someone around who knows more about how such a product would be used than I do.

Jenny Molloy

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Sep 20, 2021, 6:45:53 AM9/20/21
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I'll come in on Saturday morning from 10 or so, if that works! Anyone else want to join?

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Jenny Molloy

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Mar 31, 2022, 5:18:26 PMMar 31
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Hi Harry 

I keep seeing you in CEB and forgetting to ask!
Did this design get finalised and do you need a hand to construct it?
We have the next Biomaker Meetup on April 20th where there would be willing hands!

Jenny

Harry Blakiston Houston

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Apr 1, 2022, 3:06:10 AMApr 1
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Hey Jenny,

 

I found that the last attempt after putting it together was not quite right, light coming in at the sides etc. I think the design was a little too complex and simpler one would suffice and probably do a better job. Since then I struggled to find the time above other priorities. I’d happily pick it up again tho, particularly if I had someone to work alongside. I’m away on the 20th but maybe I can use this opportunity to ask Would anyone be keen to helpout with building a lightbox for Biomakespace?

 

I previously had a look at this design http://public.iorodeo.com/docs/gel_imaging_enclosure/ which we can either try again and improve manufacture. Or which I’d be keen on design something that is a little simpler and there is less margin for error.

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Jenny Molloy

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Apr 1, 2022, 10:05:17 AMApr 1
to Harry Blakiston Houston, Jenny Molloy, Biology Club, tony...@gmail.com, chinn...@gmail.com
I will add it to the agenda for 20 Apr and in the meantime welcome interest here :)
I think we are going to spend most of that meeting on existing projects and a new plant imaging system but if someone wanted to come along and discuss this you'd be very welcome and hopefully Harry could join the next one.

I'm quite keen to try out the light box with a high quality, low light RPi camera, a high power LED and some cheap(ish) filter that I brought, for which Noah Sprent was designing a 3D-printed holder during a previous Biomaker Meetup so if someone wants to flex their 3D printing/laser cutting/RPi skills and also make biology stuff glow neon green, this would be a good project to join in on!

Jenny

Harry Blakiston Houston

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May 30, 2022, 2:17:02 PMMay 30
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Coming back to this after a year. Initial design from i.o rodeo didn’t work the STL file for the laser cutters was not great so have come up with a simplified design. Without door etc. It is just a flat bottom box with finger joints and a camera hole in the top. It is very simple.

 

Could someone send me the size of the transilluminator box. I’ve lost my note on how big it is and want to get the new version cut.

Jenny Molloy

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May 31, 2022, 5:37:16 AMMay 31
to Harry Blakiston Houston, Jenny Molloy, Biology Club, tony...@gmail.com, chinn...@gmail.com
Hi Harry

Given how small it is, taking it off the transilluminator to put the gel on should be fine for imaging. Sometimes you need access to cut bands out of the gel for which a door would be handy but the users can come up with another solution for that!

Jenny

Harry Blakiston Houston

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May 31, 2022, 7:09:28 AMMay 31
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Cheers 


From: Jenny Molloy <jenny.mo...@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2022 10:37:03 AM

To: Harry Blakiston Houston <hcb...@gmail.com>

Harry Blakiston Houston

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Jun 1, 2022, 5:41:18 PMJun 1
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Almost done although I’ve woken up this morning and realised that designs might have forgotten a power cable. If this is the case I can make a hole next week. That shouldn’t take 5 mins. But I am away from Cam until next Wednesday.

 

Currently for this

“Sometimes you need access to cut bands out of the gel for which a door would be handy but the users can come up with another solution for that!”

 

The method would be to lift the top off. The base separates from the rest of the box. One can easily put the top back to the exact same place due to the fingers right around the perimeter of the base.

 

If it doesn’t have a power cable it is ready and sitting in the classroom for someone to come and collect. If it needs a power cable hole I’ll have to complete next week.


Ages attached...

Jenny Molloy

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Jun 2, 2022, 6:54:57 AMJun 2
to Harry Blakiston Houston, Jenny Molloy, Biology Club, tony...@gmail.com, chinn...@gmail.com
Hi Harry

That sounds great - thanks for doing that!
The use case I have in mind is where you have to cut out DNA bands from the gel while looking through the camera/viewing window. Taking the top off would remove the ability to see the bands and where to cut, but that's a specific use case and there are other ways around it. The main thing is, we can take much better photos with this box :)
The transilluminator does have a power cable so an extra hole would be really handy!

Jenny

Harry Blakiston Houston

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Jun 2, 2022, 10:48:34 AMJun 2
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Right ok hadn't realised that. I presume this means it need open access points somewhere large enough for a hand to get in? If so I'll need to cut holes on the side. Do you want 
- 2 holes (opossite sides)
- 1 hole
- 4 holes (one on each face)

Would you like the holes to be seal able? Could have sides that you slide back in.

I'll get a hole done for the power cable next week.

Sincerely,

Harry
From: Jenny Molloy <jenny.mo...@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2022 12:54:45 PM

Jenny Molloy

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Jun 2, 2022, 1:36:33 PMJun 2
to Harry Blakiston Houston, Jenny Molloy, Biology Club, tony...@gmail.com, chinn...@gmail.com
Hi Harry

I would leave it as is for now and see what feedback comes back before changing the design - taking a photo is the most common use case for sure.

Jenny

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