Speedy Capper

Problem Statement

Whether one is in the world of medicine or engineering, the use of Micro-centrifuge or Eppendorf Tubes is vital for storing sterile cultures efficiently. Unfortunately, to use these tubes may not be so efficient due to “pop-on” or “screw-on” caps which are difficult to utilize quickly. Our goal is to create a hand-held device which uncaps tubes quickly and efficiently while keeping the environment sterile.

Introduction Video

Youtube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-uEYlYmILI

Final Presentation

Schedule and Minutes

Background Research


  • This link shows a system already invented for uncapping the tubes. It is essentially a large box in which you can place one tube at a time. The device stores each cap individually and does not associate one cap to one tube. It seems very large, and thus not portable.


  • An article about the uses of Micro-centrifuge Tubes.


  • An existing cap opener. In our opinion, expensive for a simple piece of plastic ($25). Simply mechanical. Does not re-cap or label tubes.

Electric Toothbrush - Feb.24.2011

  • Analysis on an electric toothbrush and possible application of its mechanisms to a one-handed vortexer/cap opener


Questionnaire for Determining Design Edited 2/5/11

Consolidated Results of Design Survey:

Question: Types of caps used: Do you own a device to uncap tubes? Containers for storage: How many tubes used per experiment?
Answer: Mostly snap-on, but all used screw caps for high heat and high pressure environmentsNone owned a device. All used hands. Plastic racks mostly, but Styrofoam and paper boxes also used.Ranged anywhere between 2-5 to 400+
Question: Any labeling system? Disposable or reusable tubes? Frequency of purchases of tubes?
Answer: Writing by hand on the top of capsAll used disposable tubes.Depended on each lab, but ranged from every 2 weeks to 3 or 4 times a semester.
If you have the option to own a device, change the capping system to more efficient caps, or neither, which would you choose?
Device: 4 Caps 3 Neither: 0 Undecided: 1

Goals of design - capper & vortexer - March.17

Protected Area

Group Work for Class

start/classes/principlesofdesign/speedycapper/start.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/03 14:05 by mlawless
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