In an attempt to find a cheaper alternative to lab centrifuges, a DIY hacker might have created a centrifuge that even professional laboratories wouldn’t hesitate to use everyday. Created by 17 year old Karlin Yeh, the OpenFuge costs $200 to build and can compete against $1,000 commercial centrifuges.
A molecular biology wet lab is incomplete without a centrifuge and its humming noise that allows researchers to enjoy their coffee while it separates the liquids and solids based on their densities. It is probably the simplest of the lab equipments. However, until now all attempts at creating low cost centrifuges were slow and unreliable.
OpenFuge uses a motor from a remote control helicopters and manages rotation speed of 9,000 r.p.m, generating up to 6,000 g’s. It is portable using four 18650 batteries, allows four eppendorf tubes to be centrifuged and has a small LED screen that lets users control time and gives real-time feedback of the rpm. Yeh is also selling assembled units of the OpenFuge on Tindie for $260 each. Others can download the instructions here and create their own versions of centrifuge.