Electrophoresis Box


The Cooper Union Open Source Lab has a Universal Laser Systems 6.60 (18”x32”) laser cutter. It can cut through arcylics, wood, ABS, carboard, paper, and many other materials. Lexan and PVC aren't included on this list because they release chlorine gas when they are burned. The laser cutter basically behaves like a printer attached to the computer. Lines over .001” thick and images are interpreted as raster graphics and can be etched on the surface of the material proportional to how dark the color is. Lines less than .001” thick are cut through the material in a a single continuous motion. Different colors of lines and graphics can be mapped to different power level settings for the laser. Adobe Illustrator and AutoCAD are the easiest programs for printing to the laser cutter.


Your task is to design and cut out an electrophoresis box made out of laser cut parts. Electrophoresis is a common lab technique used for separating DNA fragments. DNA samples are placed in a special gel and subjected to an electric field. In addition to cutting out the box using the dimensions and files provided, your task will be to modify the box and improve it. Please create a wiki page for your project. Include a zip archive of the files you used to make the design.

Information on this DIY electrophoresis box can be found at: UTAH ELECTROPHORESIS CHAMBER

Some hints:

  • The laser is on the order of .010” in diameter. To get good press fits you'll need to experimentally figure out what the diameter is for your material and power settings and over/undersize your parts to account for this. (see example file/template for a good way to do this.
  • You can design the object in solidworks but you'll need to make a drawing of each part and save it as a DXF.

Instructions included in the example file/template

You can find an example template of a generic lasercut box here: Example Files/Template


A 100 B 85 C/D 75 0
CAD Design of box 60 CAD files could easily be used by someone else to cut parts with their own laser cutter Files could be used with slight corrections Files have many errors. Parts must be fixed for stand to work Incomplete files
Use of laser cutter 20 Parts fit together nicely. Bent/melted parts fixed. Settings used for material documented with CAD files All parts fit but some additional cutting/scraping needed to make parts fit. Some parts don't go together Not cut and assembled
Portfolio 10 2D,3D CAD files, and .txt of laser settings zipped together Partial or broken files included Files missing What files?
Wiki page 10 2-3 sentence description, files, and CAD render or picture posted Minor Elements missing Major elements missing Nothing posted
Creativity Up to +5% bonus
classes/designandproto/assignments/electrophoresis_chamber.txt · Last modified: 2011/01/27 14:46 by ericlima
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