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Ready-to-teach, engaging, and aligned to standards. 
Take ideas from imagination to fabrication, and make awesome stuff.

PCB mini-factory, is an opensource project developed by Home from span, the objective of the project is to develop a small PCB prototyping machine that can be used for:

  • Laser photoengraving - consists of drawing the PCB circuit on sensitive film or board using a UV or IR laser.
  • Drilling - allows drilling via and holes using any mini-rotary tool like Dremel or Proxxon.
  • Milling/Carving/Etching - using the same tool, it can also mill or carve soft materials or etch PCB copper with a v-bit.
  • Solder paste dispensing - with a special syringe dispenser, it can deposit solder paste with precision on SMD PCBs pads.
  • Plotting - if you prefer this method, you can plot the circuit with a permanent pen-maker.
  • 3D printing - the mini-factory includes also a 3D printer so you can make knobs, boxes, front-panels, etc. with PLA or ABS. And also print circuits with conductive filament or graphene filament in the future!!
  • And much more... because it is extendable and you can use any other tool you can install on it.

All of this functionality is supported by the robot firmware and a new user-friendly management console they have been developing. this software will be the main controller for the  mini-factory and will manage the different tools used for the various applications that this small machine is designed to be used for.

Some of the other possible development and usage of this versatile machine can be new possible applications in the following areas:

  • UV resin 3D printing - we already talked about that. It is the well known Stereolithography (SLA) method. It consists in 3D printing objects with an UV laser in photo-sensible resin. We already drafted some blue-prints using the optical pickup and probably will be our next project.
  • Bio-polymer 3D printing - consists in 3D printing in  bio-polymers for tissue engineering. It seems easy: just add a UV photo-initiator to any hydro gel and 3D print on it with the UV laser beam. The benefit to use the pickup could be the precision because the laser beam is perfectly focused and close to the hydro gel surface. There are labs and universities around the world working on that.
  • Microscopic applications - we don't have too much time to research more areas, but we dream with this kind of projects. It consists in using the pickup as a laser microscope or molecular tweezers.  In theory the laser beam is 0.5um wide so maybe is possible to do something at this scale.

This project describes the design of a very low budget 3D Printer that is mainly built out of recycled electronic components. The result is a small format printer for less than 100$.

First of all, we learn how a generic CNC system works (by assembling and calibrating bearings, guides and threads) and then teach the machine to respond to g-code instructions. After that, we add a small plastic extruder and give an overview on plastic extrusion calibration, driver power tuning and other few operations that will bring the printer to live. Following this instructions you will get a small footprint 3D Printer that is built with about an 80% of recycled components, which gives it a great potential and helps to reduce the cost significantly.

    • Jscut. 

A CAM in your browser! Convert your SVG files to CNC cutting paths with this tool.Todd Fleming

ChiliPeppr Hardware Fiddle

A hardware fiddle enables the world of web-based software to merge with hardware and the Internet of Things. This is a place where you can create software/hardware mashups.John Lauer

    • GRBLweb

 is a web based GCODE sender and controller for GRBL. Multiple serial devices can be connected to control multiple machines.Andrew hodel

The simplest way to get your ideas into 3D.
123D Design is a free, powerful, yet simple 3D creation and editing tool which supports many new 3D printers.

The STL-format is the industrial standard for handling triangulated meshes. STL-files contain a plain list of three-dimensional corner point coordinates and flat triangles. The triangles, also referred to as faces, are defined by three corner points and have an inside and an outside. Adjacent triangles may use common corner points and share the same edges, which results in a coherent triangle mesh (figure 1.1)above.The generality and simplicity of this concept makes STL-files compatible to a lot of applications. However, they do not contain any topological information about the mesh. This causes typical errors when CAD files with different file formats are converted to STL. There are specialized software like Netfabb, Meshlab & 123D Meshmixer etc..that can detect and repair these kinds of damages and create faultless meshes without holes, deformations or intersections.

One of the hardest parts of any job is figuring out how to design the part so you can manufacture it. It's very easy to design a part that is difficult, impossible, or just very expensive to manufacture. Even experienced designers do it sometimes. This workshop is for you if you want to make designs that can be made using a CNC machine.

This workshop covers running a job from beginning to end using the Shapeoko CNC machine

KinectFusion provides 3D object scanning and model creation using a Kinect for Windows sensor. The user can paint a scene with the Kinect camera and simultaneously see, and interact with, a detailed 3D model of the scene. Kinect Fusion can be run at interactive rates on supported GPUs, and can run at non-interactive rates on a variety of hardware. Running at non-interactive rates may allow larger volume reconstructions.


 a free app that turns photos into 3D models.

The MakerBot Replicator 2 makes solid, three-dimensional objects out of melted MakerBot 

PLA Filament. Your 3D design files are translated into instructions for the MakerBot 

Replicator 2 and sent to the machine via SD card. Then the MakerBot Replicator 2 heats 

the MakerBot PLA Filament and squeezes it out through a nozzle to make a solid object 

layer by layer. This method is called fused deposition modeling.


Formerly: Google Sketchup is a 3D modelingprogram for applications such as architectural, interior design, civiland mechanical engineering, film, and video game design. A freeware version, SketchUp Make, and a paid version with additional functionality, SketchUp Pro, are available.

The BeagleBoard is a low-power open-source hardwaresingle-board computer produced by Texas Instruments in association with Digi-Key and Newark element14. The BeagleBoard was also designed with open source softwaredevelopment in mind

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools.[6][7][8][9][10]

Arduino is a single-board microcontroller, intended to make the application of interactive objects or environments more accessible.[1] The hardware consists of an open-source hardware board designed around an 8-bit AtmelAVRmicrocontroller, or a 32-bit Atmel ARM. Current models feature a USB interface, 6 analog input pins, as well as 14 digital I/O pins which allows the user to attach various extension boards.

sensor is a converter that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal which can be read by an observer or by an (today mostly electronic) instrument

The most important debugging tool in any E.E.'s toolbox is a trusty multimeter. A multimeter can measure continuity, resistance, voltage and sometimes even current, capacitance, temperature, etc. It's a swiss army knife for geeks!

microcontroller (abbreviatedMCU or µC) is a high integrated functional computer system-on-a-chip. It contains an integratedprocessor core, memory (a small amount of RAM, program memory, or both), and programmable input/outputperipherals.[1] In contrast to a microprocessor which only contains a CPU (the kind used in a PC). 

Afab lab(fabrication laboratory) is a small-scaleworkshopoffering (personal)digital fabrication.[1][2] A fab lab is generally equipped with an array of flexible computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make "almost anything".[3]This includestechnology-enabled products generally perceived as limited tomass production.

 Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser most commonly through optics. The laser optics and CNC (computer numerical control) are used to direct the material or the laser beam generated

CNC service from Autodesk 123DNumerical control (NC) is the automation of machine tools that are operated by precisely programmed commands encoded on a storage medium, as opposed to controlled manually via hand wheels or levers, or mechanically automated via cams alone. Most NC today is computer numerical control (CNC), in which computers play an integral part of the control

The Internet of Things (IoT, also Cloud of Things or CoT) refers to the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing like devices within the existing Internet infrastructure. Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications.[1] The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to usher in automation in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications like a Smart Grid.[2]

 Netfabb offers a variety of functions to view, handle, edit and repair three-dimensional files. These functions serve as preparation of virtual objects for 3D-printing, rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, including all process steps from three-dimensional CAD to the actual manufacturing with a 3D-printer. The availability of the functions depends on the acquired version of netfabb Studio. The basic version already offers useful features. These are further enhanced by netfabb Private and netfabb Professional version.

What is 3D printing?

3D printers build up objects from scratch, we call this process "additive manufacturing” and it is done one layer at a time

Animation of the 3D print in action

Soft robotics is a growing field that takes inspiration from biological systems to combine classical principles of robot design with the study of soft, flexible materials. Many animals and plants are composed primarily of soft, elastic structures which are capable of complex movement as well as adaptation to their environment. These natural systems have inspired the development of soft robotic systems, in which the careful design of component geometry allows complex motions to be "pre-programmed” into flexible and elastomeric materials. The use of compliant materials to embed intelligence in the mechanics of the body enables designers to simplify the more complex mechanisms and software control systems used in traditional, rigid robotics. The inherent compliance of soft robots makes them highly adaptable to a wide range of tasks and environments. In particular, they are ideally suited for interactions with humans, from assisting with daily activities to performing minimally invasive surgery.

This workshop is a project-based introduction to the engineering of synthetic biological systems. Participants develop projects that are responsive to real-world problems of their choosing, and whose solutions depend on biological technologies.

Protein electrophoresis is a method for analysing the proteins in a fluid or an extract. The electrophoresis may be performed with a small volume of sample in a number of alternative ways with or without a supporting medium

DNA isolation is a process of purification of DNA from sample using a combination of physical and chemical methods. The first isolation of DNA was done in 1869 by Friedrich Miescher.[1] Currently it is a routine procedure in molecular biology or forensic analyses.

This workshop will teach you how to make a thermal cycler from scratch. In short, PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplifies bits of DNA, creating millions of copies of a target sequence. You can use it to test a DNA sample for a specific gene, for instance, to check for genetic modification in food and for hereditary gene testing.

Do you want to  built your own functioning bio-printer from a couple of old CD drives, an inkjet cartridge, and an Arduino. This workshop has something for everyone, whether it's hardware hacking. programming, Arduino, microfluides, synthetic biology, plant biology, cell culturing, tissue engineering - you name it! Everyone has something to learn, or something to teach. This DIY bio-printer is developed by and is part of our opensource DIY biology lab devices program, which we hope will make biofabrication accessible to schools, individuals and local bio hackers.

OpenPCR is a project to develop open source hardware, software, and protocols to perform PCR and Real-Time PCR reactions, and a community dedicated to openness in science and applying the fundamental technologies of PCR to global problems. The aim is to make the fundamental technologies of PCR and Real-Time PCR universally accessible, without exorbitant costs or intellectual property issues, and to apply this fundamental technology to challenging global issues, such as point-of-care medical diagnostics in developing countries and ensuring the safety of the world's food supplies. We envision a world where molecular diagnostics are routinely used by all and do not require specialized knowledge.

This is a workshop on how to build and operate the OpenPCR device which is a low-cost yet accurate thermocycler

you build yourself, capable of reliably controlling PCR reactions for DNA detection, sequencing, and limitless other applications.. The course is about 8 hour.
 BioBot is  an affordable plug-and-play BioBot liquid handler, it is an easy to use automation equipment to empower a new generation of biodevelopers  to change modern biotech. 

Hardware: All the parts for a DIY BioBot are off the shelf (buy them from OpenBuilds or Inventables, etc) or 3D printed (print in ABS -- stronger than PLA and autoclavable), so you can make it all yourself. You use your own hand micropipette for the liquid handling -- with most pipette brands, every size, any number of channels will fit in the BioBot with minimal modification.

Electronics: BioBot uses the TinyG motor controller, an awesome piece of tech from Syntheos, to run the robot's six stepper motors.

This workshop is for anybody who wants to learn how to assemble the BioBot and configure the firmware/hardware (TinyG ) and the control application (Opentrons) and use it for biofabrication projects

Synthetic biology uses much of the same techniques and equipment of the biological sciences, but instead of research and new discoveries, a synthetic biologist looks to co-opt and improve upon the genetic blueprints of existing organisms, to design and create novel biological devices and systems.

A synthetic biologist may look to manipulate organisms into bio-factories for the production of biofuels, the uptake of hazardous material in the environment, or creating biological circuits. Microorganisms, in particular, are small, easily powered, are conducive to control, and much of their framework and machinery is known. As the cost of sequencing and DNA synthesis continues to drop, ambitious ideas for synthetic biology are becoming more affordable and achievable, and until then the Registry also provides physical parts through the Repository.

To design these new systems, synthetic biologists will look to natural biological systems to find functional units of DNA or synthesize new ones that do not naturally exist. These functional units are tested and characterized and may become components in a biological device or system. We refer to them as parts: a sequence of DNA that encodes for a specific biological function.

This short course is a practical hands on assignment for high school students and adults interested in learning sytheticbiology and biofabrication technologies.

Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary science, combining disciplines such as biotechnologyevolutionary biologymolecular biology,systems biology and biophysics.

The definition of synthetic biology is heavily debated not only among natural scientists but also in the human sciencesarts and politics.[1] One popular definition is "designing and constructing biological devices[2] and biological systems for useful purposes." However, the functional aspects of this definition stem from molecular biology and biotechnology.[3]

Computational biology involves the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavioral, and social systems.[1] The field is broadly defined and includes foundations in computer scienceapplied mathematicsanimationstatisticsbiochemistrychemistrybiophysicsmolecular biologygenetics,genomicsecologyevolutionanatomyneuroscience, and visualization.[2]

Tissue engineering is the use of a combination of cellsengineering and materials methods, and suitable biochemical and physico-chemical factors to improve or replace biological functions. While it was once categorized as a sub-field of biomaterials, having grown in scope and importance it can be considered as a field in its own right.

Biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products, or "any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use" (UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Art. 2).[1] Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with the (related) fields ofbioengineering and biomedical engineering.

This course emphasizes statistics as a powerful tool for studying complex issues in behavioral and biological sciences, and explores the limitations of statistics as a method of inquiry. The course covers descriptive statistics, probability and random variables, inferential statistics, and basic issues in experimental design. Techniques introduced include confidence intervals, t-tests, F-tests, regression, and analysis of variance. Assignments include a project in data analysis.

Biomechanics is closely related to engineering, because it often uses traditional engineering sciences to analyze biological systems. Some simple applications of Newtonian mechanics and/or materials sciences can supply correct approximations to the mechanics of many biological systems. Applied mechanics, most notably mechanical engineering disciplines such as continuum mechanicsmechanism analysis, structuralanalysis, kinematics and dynamics play prominent roles in the study of biomechanics.

Biomaterials can be derived either from nature or synthesized in the laboratory using a variety of chemical approaches utilizing metallic components, polymersceramics or composite materials. They are often used and/or adapted for a medical application, and thus comprises whole or part of a living structure or biomedical device which performs, augments, or replaces a natural function. Such functions may be benign, like being used for aheart valve, or may be bioactive with a more interactive functionality such as hydroxy-apatite coated hip implants. Biomaterials are also used every day in dental applications, surgery, and drug delivery. For example, a construct with impregnated pharmaceutical products can be placed into the body, which permits the prolonged release of a drug over an extended period of time. A biomaterial may also be an autograftallograft or xenograft used as atransplant material.