Approaches to Open Source 3-D Printable Probe Positioners and Micromanipulators for Probe Stations

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Abstract

Three types of highly-customizable open source probe positioning systems are evaluated: (a) mostly 3-D printed, (b) partially printed using OpenBeam kinematic constraints, and (c) a 3-level stack of low-cost commercial single axis micropositioners and some printed parts. All systems use digital distributed manufacturing to enable bespoke features, which can be fabricated with RepRap-class 3-D printer and easily accessible components. They are all flexible in material choice for custom components. The micropositioners can be set up for left-right use and flat or recessed configurations using either mechanical or magnetic mounting. All systems use a manual probe holder that can be customized and enable a quick swap probe system. System (a) is purchased for $100 or fabricated for 200 microns, (b) 40 microns and (c) 10 microns. A tradeoff is observed for 3-D printed percent between cost and accuracy. All systems provided substantial cost savings over proprietary products with similar functionality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e00042
JournalHardwareX
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • 3-D printing
  • Manipulators
  • Micromanipulator
  • Open hardware
  • Open source hardware
  • Open source scientific equipment
  • Probe
  • Probe holder
  • Probe positioner
  • Probe station

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