fab: spectrometer lab kit

Being in a Technology and Design school, there's no reason why we cannot create our own laboratory kits.

This requires a comprehensive skill set:

  • CAD modeling
  • Programming + understanding source code
  • fabrication + assembly
  • troubleshooting
  • product development

body-assembly The first step was to glue the individual 2.2mm greyboard together, with minimal misalignment as possible. This forms the casing for the spectrometer.

spray-room This also involves having to perform spray painting.

print-mount During our initial trials, the spectrometer required light to be shone in as "straight" as possible to achieve a spectrum reading.

This calls for a customized 3D printed collimating lenses mount that is at the right height, matching the spectrometer.

mount-tap

3D printing was just the beginning. Tapping is the next step to create the thread line for mounting the lenses. This also means reading the product technical specification to figure out the hole size and thread pitch etc.

mount-fibre

Woohoo! Fits well on the first try. Definitely not beginner's luck but experience at play.

cad-setup

With all the individual components ready, it's time to design a mounting base that puts everything together. This is where 3D modeling plays an important role.

You get to visualize everything before fabrication and reduces time wasted on oversight that could have been eliminated through CAD-ing.

laser-cut

Prepare your 2D files and laser way!

lab-kit

People never said that electronics, mechanical or lab kits have to look boring. Rectanguish, raw, nuts and bolts etc.

We can also make it fun for the user! Cute engravings, unconventional shapes and exciting lab experiments. Isn't that what Engineering Product Development is all about?

spectro-spectrum

Yes, we know see the light splitting into a spectrum of colours.


Things are coming together pretty well with a stable setup to perform more tests. We are working on modifying the original software and calibrating the kits with a calibrated, industrial-grade spectrometer.

I hope we can pull this off and have it ready for 2017! To all the freshmores of class 2019, I hope this gives you a glimpse that there exist a small team of people who cares about what you learn and experience in your course.

Till the next update!

~ken the fabricator