The unreasonable effectiveness of 3D printers
If you've ever thought of dipping your toes into lab automation, microfluidics, or even just want custom material for a new experiment, you want a 3D printer in the lab. These days, you can find extremely cheap, yet capable, printers on Amazon - the Elegoo Mars Pro 2 (MSLA - resin printer) is a favourite at my lab, which I've used for everything from moulds for milifluidics devices to specially designed microscope slide adapters, and it costs £280! Meanwhile, I'm constantly using a shared fused filament deposition printer (lower resolution, but makes larger and more resilient parts) for tube holders, clamps, and many different kinds of adapters. Is anyone else here using additive manufacturing in their labs?
Years ago I thought that every lab would have one, but that seems not to be the case... I guess that the issue is that 3D modeling is not easy for most people, and not accessible (high specs hardware required and/or lack of time). Yet, once, me and my colleague who owns a Prusa, tried to build a replacement cog of a rotator (2mL tubes). The printing was on point, but, in the end, the problem was not in the wear-and-tear of the cog; it was something else xD Nonetheless, this was one of the best "experiments" in the lab :D