Open Source 3-D Printed Nutating Mixer
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Bill of Materials
- Base (Figure 2): The base of the equipment holds the 12 V 25 RPM DC geared motor, which is the main load bearing component of the equipment.
- Bearing holder (Figure 3): The bearing holder is designed at a 20-degree tilt angle. A skateboard bearing is mounted on the top on a flat surface, which further holds the rod and the platform, hence enabling 3-D rotation of platform at 20 degrees.
- Rod (Figure 4): The rod is mounted on the bearing holder and fits in the bore of the bearing, so that when the motor rotates, the rod rotates at 20 degrees with some offset. The slit hole in the rod is designed specifically for 20-degree angle and calculated based on the height of intersection of the rod with the center of the rotating shaft. It should be noted that the FreeCAD model can be adjusted for different angles, but if the mixer needs to be customized at a different angle, the slit hole position in the rod will change, respectively. 30% infill, with a lower layer height results in the mechanical strength needed for this component that has a relatively small cross-sectional area at the top. Polymer use could also be reduced by using a slicer capable of variable height infill settings.
- Cover (Figure 5): The shell of the mixer is a functional component and is thus designed to fit on the base as well as hold the rotating rod exactly at the center of the slit hole position. Hence, the neck on the cover consists of a slit hole to accommodate a rubber (NinjaFlex slit), which passes through the cover and through the rotating rod such that it prevents the rod from rotating about its own axis. The height of the equipment is determined based on this slit height as it must be aligned with the rod slit hole after the assembly. Thus, again for customizing, the design of the cover will need to be modified in FreeCAD.
- Platform (Figure 6): The platform of the mixer is designed to provide a solid base for the dimpled mat, which is printed in flexible material to hold the test tubes. To reduce the amount of filament consumed, it is designed as a mesh, which is strong enough to hold the dimpled mat and the test tubes. The platform is attached to the rod with the M3 nuts and bolts.
- Dimpled mat (Figure 7): The dimpled mat is built using NinjaFlex, which provides flexibility to hold test tubes of various sizes. The shown design can hold the test tubes with 13 mm, 16 mm, and 20 mm diameter. The design can be easily modified for any custom tube size (or assortment of tube sizes) by changing the location of the cylinders as per the requirement and test tube sizes. Finally, the diameter of the dimpled mat, as shown is 200 mm, and can be modified to a larger or smaller size to accommodate more samples or to save on equipment costs (as this is the most expensive 3-D printed component as shown in Table 1), respectively. Thus, the dimpled mat can be customized for any type of vessel include glass or plastic tubes, bottles, flasks, and microplates.
- Slit (Figure 8): The flexible slit is built using NinjaFlex so that it not only holds the rod in place and prevents it from rotating about its own axis, but also acts as a damper to give smooth rotation to the mixer. This component needs to be added to the mixer after it is assembled.
2.3. Assembly and Testing
2.3.1. Procedure to Assemble the 3-D Printed Open Source Nutating Mixer
- Assemble the motor to the base, as shown in Figure 9. Use only two 6 mm M3 hex bolt screws to fit the motor to the base, as mentioned below. Adding the all 4 hex bolts restricts the movement of the bearing holder.Next, fit M3 nuts on all three blocks, as shown below. A little glue can be used to prevent slipping if necessary.
- Fit the bearing holder to the motor shaft using 10 mm M3 hex bolt.
- Fit the double pole double throw (DPDT) switch and DC barrel connector on the printed cover. Note: Do not solder it before assembling it to the cover.
- Solder the DPDT switch to the barrel connector and the DC motor following the circuit shown in Figure 10.
- Tighten the cover to the base using three 16 mm M3 hex screws. Make sure that the wires are out of the way of the bearing holder or else it might mess up when the bearing holder rotates.
- Assemble the 3-D printed platform with the printed rod using M3 7 mm hex screws, as shown in Figure 11. Two screws should be enough for the assembly.
- Important: Turn on the mixer using the adapter and make sure that the bearing holder is in parallel position to the base as shown in Figure 12. This step is important so that the rod and slit can be assembled with ease. It should be noted that if the bearing holder is not in this position while assembling the rod, the rod might break or it might not assemble properly.
- Assemble the rod platform assembly to the cover such that the rod tip fits exactly at the center of the bearing bore.
- Make sure that the rod fits properly in the bearing bore by aligning the slit hole of the cover with the rod hole, as shown in Figure 13.
- Install the slit passing it through the cover and through the rod.
- Place the dimpled mat on top of the cover. If required use some glue to fix it firmly to the platform.
4.1. Performance and Future Work
4.2. Cost Analysis
Conflicts of Interest
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|Sr. No.||Component||3-D Printing Material||Quantity||Mass (g)||Cost (US$)|
|6||Dimpled Bed||Ninja Flex||1||67||5.80|
|Total Filament Cost||12.23|
|Sr. No.||Component||Qty||Cost (US$)|
|1||Skateboard bearing ||1||0.73|
|2||DC barrel connector ||1||1.00|
|3||Switch DPDT ||1||1.19|
|4||12 Volt DC Motor—25 RPM ||1||13.95|
|5||DC adapter ||1||6.99|
|6||M3 Fasteners (2 M3 7 mm, 2 6 mm, 3 M3 16 mm and 1 M3 10 mm and bolts)||1||<1.00|
|Total Ordered Material Cost||24.86|
|Total Cost of Equipment (Table 1 and Table 2)||37.09|
|Commercial Proprietary Product||Cost (US$)||Cost Savings for OS Nutating Mixer (%)|
|Labnet GyroMini Nutating Mixer ||291.65||87.3|
|Benchmark BlotBoy 3-Dimensional Rockers ||381.65||90.3|
|Benchmark Scientific B3D1008 Mini ||322.15||88.5|
|Boekel 201100 Mini Orbitron ||491.00||92.4|
|Globe Nutating Mixer ||443.03||91.6|
|Globe Scientific 522-230 Nutating Mixer II ||420.60||91.2|
|Benchmark Mini BioMixer 3-D Shakers ||313.65||88.2|
|Chemglass CLS-4029-100 3D Nutating Mixer ||325.00||88.6|
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Trivedi, D.K.; Pearce, J.M. Open Source 3-D Printed Nutating Mixer. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 942. https://doi.org/10.3390/app7090942
Trivedi DK, Pearce JM. Open Source 3-D Printed Nutating Mixer. Applied Sciences. 2017; 7(9):942. https://doi.org/10.3390/app7090942Chicago/Turabian Style
Trivedi, Dhwani K., and Joshua M. Pearce. 2017. "Open Source 3-D Printed Nutating Mixer" Applied Sciences 7, no. 9: 942. https://doi.org/10.3390/app7090942