404 Open Call for Open Science Equipment | Citizen Science Quarterly
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Open Call for Open Science Equipment

Outdated Science Equipment (for PCR)

Currently, most of the equipment in “garage” science labs come from auctions, craigslist and what ever people can scavenge.  While occasionally you can find a gem that doesnt break the bank. Most of whats out there is usually outdated, broken or missing manuals. If citizen science is expected to make real discoveries, we need new tools. Specifically tools that are open source and of good design so that they can be built upon and improved by the community. Off the top of my head I can think of only 2 open sourced pieces of equipment that I can go out, buy and be able to use within a week or two, The Pearl Gel Box and the dremelfuge.  There a few more projects in the early stages of production. But overall there is a severe lack of Open Science equipment.  To help get more people thinking and designing we are holding a call for Open Science Design Ideas. And thanks to the support of Ponoko the best idea will receive $50 in credit to make their idea.

To enter an idea be sure to follow the instructions below and email your idea to jacob(at)citizensciencequarterly.com

  • Describe your idea so a lay person will understand its use.
  • To be picked, idea must be able to be built using Ponoko/sparkfun components
  • Prove that you are capable of completing your idea it i.e. drawings, CADs, Schematics, past work, whatever you think will convince us.
  • Must agree to be licensed under at least a CC BY-NC-SA. If you’d prefer a more open license thats okay too, just let us know.

On Dec 15th we’ll pick the best idea and they’ll recieve the $50 credit to put towards the construction of their idea.  Good luck brainstorming and If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

P.s. Thanks again to Ponoko for supporting this project.

  • Marlin Mixon

    Science Equipment Suggestion. This is more of a patient therapy item but I think it might be pretty neat. A CPAP machine for treating sleep apnea built in a 2-liter soda bottle. The air supply hose could screw into the top. For simplicity, the power supply would probably be external like a laptop charger. The guts would consist of an electric motor and impeller plus a control for adjusting the pressure (RPM). The design should use a quiet motor. Perhaps a disk drive motor?


  • Marlin, CPAP’s would be perfect for open sourcing. There’s no reason such a simple apparatus should cost a few hundred bucks.