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During my 3D printing experiments I stumbled upon several design challenges covering microscopy/biology stuff.


Microscopy Slide Case

This one annoyed me for a long time, I was never a fan of storing them in their shipped cardboard boxes, especially as a hobbyist you rarely will use that amount of slides.
So I came up with this little design to store them dust protected, and even allow you to use them for transport without caring to much.
Design was pretty straight forward. Happy accident was the rough printing wich actually helps to interlock top and bottom part.

slidecase rubber

slidecase open


Microscopy Slide Chamber

Design idea I found n the net, wich was made out of cardboard.  Came up with this filament saving solution, wich also allows you to store them in slide holders. The glass on both sides of the chamber is a regular 18x18 mm cover glass wich can be glued

microchamber



Test tube holder design (process walkthrough)

You can get good test tube holders for low amount of money, so this project was primarly done to experiment a bit, comming up with more or less unique designs. I don't have that many test-tubes

the initial concept was to have a sturdy design to hold those test tubes in place, so I came up with these design specs:
testtubeconcept01

The resulted print:
testtubeholderconcept

There are several problems with the design, first of all those long small structures are hard to print, the whole printing process needs a lot of time due to the design and handling of the finished product is not as easy as thought. While waiting for the prototype to print I came up with  different design wich solves these issues.

testtubeconcept02

testtubeholder

Printing takes longer than a single version of the first design, but since you get the functionality of four of the first design elements, printing time is drastically reduced. Also the long elogated holders do feature more material and is much more sturdy during printing. Not to mention that the print has a much better measurement tolerances, since it does not have to print a complete hole, but just 8 contact points to the tube.


Post mortem
Its fun to design actual products with a 3d printer. Not only the fun to have physical product, but also the production process is interesting:
You got your process restrictions you have to take into consideration during the design process and can quickly create your product in a short period of time and money in relation considering other production techniques. 

 I've released the case and the chamber for free (uncommercial usage), on thingiverse. might add new designs there in future

plugs download slidecase

plugs download microchamber