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Open-source 3D-printable optics equipment

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Project data
Authors Zhang C
Anzalone NC
Faria RP
Joshua M. Pearce
Status Designed
Modelled
Prototyped
Verified
Verified by MOST
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Keywords osat, open source optics, 3d printing, open source hardware, optics equipment, open source library
Sustainable Development Goals SDG09 Industry innovation and infrastructure
Authors Joshua M. Pearce
Published 2013
License CC BY-SA 4.0
Affiliations MOST
MTU
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Location Michigan, USA

Sunhusky.png Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.

Contact Dr. Joshua Pearce
MOST: Projects & Publications, Methods, Lit. reviews, People, Sponsors, News
Updates: Twitter, YouTube

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Just as the power of the open-source design paradigm has driven down the cost of software to the point that it is accessible to most people, the rise of open-source hardware is poised to drive down the cost of doing experimental science to expand access to everyone. To assist in this aim, this paper introduces a library of open-source 3-D-printable optics components. This library operates as a flexible, low-cost public-domain tool set for developing both research and teaching optics hardware. First, the use of parametric open-source designs using an open-source computer aided design package is described to customize the optics hardware for any application. Second, details are provided on the use of open-source 3-D printers (additive layer manufacturing) to fabricate the primary mechanical components, which are then combined to construct complex optics-related devices. Third, the use of the open-source electronics prototyping platform are illustrated as control for optical experimental apparatuses. This study demonstrates an open-source optical library, which significantly reduces the costs associated with much optical equipment, while also enabling relatively easily adapted customizable designs. The cost reductions in general are over 97%, with some components representing only 1% of the current commercial investment for optical products of similar function. The results of this study make its clear that this method of scientific hardware development enables a much broader audience to participate in optical experimentation both as research and teaching platforms than previous proprietary methods.

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