µCube: A Framework for 3D Printable Optomechanics

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Scientific instruments often require the integration of mechanics, electronics and optics. While the use of 3D printing techniques and commodity electronics has lowered the cost of instrumentation, the design and prototyping of optical components and light paths can be challenging and expensive. In recent years, attempts have been made to make optical devices more affordable using 3D printing as a method for production of optomechanical components. In this paper we present an assembly standard for the production of 3D printed optical devices. We describe a framework for parametric design of modular mounts, present two modules built using the framework, and demonstrate the potential for generalised design of modular optical devices following the μCube standard.

46 Information and Computing Sciences, 4607 Graphics, Augmented Reality and Games, 40 Engineering, Bioengineering
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Journal of Open Hardware
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Ubiquity Press
BBSRC (1497818)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/L014130/1)
This project was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Synthetic Biology Research Centre supported by the Research Councils’ Synthetic Biology for Growth Programme [OpenPlant grant No. BB/L014130/1 to J.H.]; and University of Cambridge BBSRC DTP programme [M.D.]