Comparison of Design Approaches for Low-Cost Sampling Mechanisms in Open-Source Chemical Instrumentation
Robotic positioning systems are used in a variety of chemical instruments, primarily for liquid handling purposes, such as autosamplers from vials or well plates. Here, two approaches to the design of open-source autosampler positioning systems for use with 96-well plates are described and compared. The first system, a 3-axis design similar to many low-cost 3D printers that are available on the market, is constructed using an aluminum design and stepper motors. The other system relies upon a series of 3D printed parts to achieve movement with a series of linker arms based on Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA) design principles. Full design files and software are included for both samplers in this repository. The positioning precision of the 3-axis system is better than the SCARA mechanism due to finer motor control, albeit with a slightly higher cost of materials. Based on the improved precision of this approach, the 3-axis autosampler system was used to demonstrate the generation of a segmented flow droplet stream from adjacent wells within a 96-well plate. Build instructions and other information is available in the associated HardwareX article.
Steps to reproduce
All information on the relevant designs can be found in the associated HardwareX article.