DremelFuge is a printable rotor for centrifuging standard microcentrifuge tubes and miniprep columns. Full details at Thingiverse available here. The Dremelfuge is an example of open source rapid prototyping of OSAT project developed by Cathal Garvey in Ireland.
The DremelFuge can be used in the field as an extremely inexpensive centrifuge (costing about $50 - primarily the cost of the drill - compared to commercial systems starting over $500). It can be used for any application in development needing a microcentrifuge including medical, biochemistry or education in the sciences. It was originally developed for DIYbio. It requires industry standard 1.5ml/2ml Eppendorf/Microcentrifuge tubes.
- Used with a drill at 3000 RPM, the Dremelfuge will deliver over 400g, enough to comfortably spin down Miniprep samples.
- Used at 10krpm, on a Rotary tool for instance, a Dremelfuge should deliver over 4400g, more than enough to spin down bacterial cells.
- At 16krpm, Dremelfuge matches commercial centrifuges.
- On a Dremel 300, a maximum speed of 33krpm equates to a force of over 50,000 times earth's gravity, which puts it into so-called "Ultracentrifuge" territory. The latest version (as printed by Shapeways) has successfully spun tubes at this speed.
DremelFuge makes use of the Shapes.scad script kindly released by Catarina Mota, which is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation.
DremelFuge itself is released under an Attribution, Sharealike License. It's already available on Shapeways, and you're entitled to print it for yourself or someone else for free if you have a printer handy. As a personal favor to the creator, don't undercut the original author on Shapeways please, unless you have a significantly better version and thus do not call it "Dremelfuge" if you do.
Dremelfuge is a home-made Centrifuge, a potentially hazardous tool. Use your own common sense. Centrifuges require some care in order to be used safely, and a home-made centrifuge in particular will have hazards that you should be ready for if you try to use it.
|Quick Video Intro to Dremelfuge:|
If you want to use Dremelfuge, use your head and take safety precautions:
- Print on something like a RepRap or buy Dremelfuge. If printed, use maximum infill for stability.
- Attach Dremelfuge securely, either by tightening a chuck securely or screwing a rotary tool disc-holder securely to the center of the Dremelfuge.
- Seat your drill or rotary tool so that Dremelfuge's shaft/axle is vertically oriented. Seat the drill/tool with the Dremelfuge into a metal chamber (such as a cooking pot) for safety, and wear eyegear and any other personal protective items you can muster in case of disintegration.
- Starting at the lowest speed and ramping up, with no tubes or loads attached, test Dremelfuge for safety at whichever speeds you intend to use it.
- Once proven safe at the intended speed, you can start to test and use Dremelfuge under load, that is with desired lab samples. Make certain at all times that identical tubes or columns are used, with identical amounts of fluid or mass on either side. Always balance the Dremelfuge perfectly, or accidents may result.
Here are some RCF values (g-forces) to expect when it is used with a standard 1.5ml microcentrifuge tube:
- @3000 rpm - 453 rcf
- @10000 rpm - 5,031 rcf
- @16,680 rpm - 14,000 rcf (The highest on a standard lab centrifuge I use every day!)
- @33,000 rpm - 51,520 rcf (Highest on a Dremel 300)
Full details at Thingiverse available here.