Parametric Automated Filter Wheel Changer

by jpearce, published

Parametric Automated Filter Wheel Changer by jpearce Aug 28, 2012


This Arduino-controlled open-source automated filter-wheel changer is set up to move to 8 different filter positions. Normally these devices are used in scientific experiments that need good optics. Commercial versions cost over $2,500 and you can make this yourself for less than $50. So if you make just one -- you more than justify the purchase of your own open source 3-D printer!

This component is part of the Open-source optics project, whose goal is to radically reduce the cost of scientific optical hardware: by the Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Research Group.

For similar see the Open-Source Lab How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs

This project was featured in an article and podcase in Science. Pearce, Joshua M. 2012. Building Research Equipment with Free, Open-Source Hardware. Science 337 (6100): 1303-1304.

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This filter wheel is designed for 50.8mmx50.8mm standard filters, but the OpenSCAD code will be included for you to refine for your needs.

Full instructions here

Bill of Materials:

Non Printed Parts*  
    28 M3x10 Screws  
    8   M3x22 Screws  
    1   M3x10 Set Screw (Grub Screw)  
    33 M3 Nuts  
    1   Nema 17 Motor  
    1   Arduino Uno  
    1   Motor Shield from Adafruit  
    1   Optical Switch  

Printed Parts  
    7   Filterwheel Segments (pie slice segements)  
    1   Filter Wheel Final Segment (This one is different from the rest)  
    1   Motor Hub  
    1   Motor Mount  
    8   Filter Brackets  
    1   Optical Switch Flag      

*Please note that we are working on different designs for the case of the filter wheel and will post separately. The BOM is for a wheel and a completely printed case.

<b>Printing Instructions:</b>

With your favorite RepRap variant print preferably in black ABS or PLA in order to cut down on reflected light.

  1. Start off by Printing the Motor hub in ABS or PLA. We used a 35% infill with 2 perimeters and 2 solid layers.

  2. Then print off 7 Filter wheel Segments. We suggest printing these out in PLA to prevent warping. Warped prints are not useable. After each print, drill out all the holes. An 1/8â