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Open-source lab jack

by jpearce, published

Open-source lab jack by jpearce Aug 13, 2012

Description

This is a lab jack, which is a height adjustable platform ideal for mounting optomechanical sub-assemblies, which require height adjustment.

This component is part of the [Open-source optics project](http://www.appropedia.org/Open_source_optics), whose goal is to radically reduce the cost of scientific optical hardware: by the [Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Research Group]( mse.mtu.edu/MOST).

For similar see the [Open-Source Lab How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs](http://store.elsevier.com/coArticle.jsp?pageid=18200010&utm_source=Joshua+Pearce&utm_medium=marketing&utm_campaign=Open-Source+Lab+Free+Access)

Recent Comments

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The print time will depend on the type of printer and the slicing settings. But I have to tell you $5/min seems insanely expensive unless it is printing in gold. There are lots of online places to find people with printers that will charge you /cm^3 try MakeXYZ to find someone in your area.

The new tech hub at the Toronto Public Library is charging 5 dollars per minute of print time to a max of two hours so is there any estimate on print times per part / device total and does any part take more than 2 hours to print?

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Instructions

Lab jacks cost between about $30 and several hundred dollars. Use the OpenSCAD files to customize it for your application, print on your favorite open source 3-D printer and enjoy for a few bucks.

This works well and can get a good quality z-axis small change for any standard optical arrangement. However, the gearing is a bit sticky so will need improved if you are going to automate with lots of precise height changes.

Full information [here on appropedia](http://www.appropedia.org/Open-source_lab_jack)

Thanks to Nick for the designs and GregFrost for the gears.

This component is part of the Open-source Optics Library: Zhang C, Anzalone NC, Faria RP, Pearce JM (2013) [Open-Source 3D-Printable Optics Equipment](http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0059840). PLoS ONE 8(3): e59840.

This is part of a larger project to reduce the cost of scientific equipment using open-source hardware. Read more [here](http://mtu.academia.edu/JoshuaPearce/Papers/1935580/Building_Research_Equipment_with_Free_Open-Source_Hardware)

Comments

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Sundog1966 on Jan 24, 2014 said:

The new tech hub at the Toronto Public Library is charging 5 dollars per minute of print time to a max of two hours so is there any estimate on print times per part / device total and does any part take more than 2 hours to print?

jpearce on Jan 24, 2014 said:

The print time will depend on the type of printer and the slicing settings. But I have to tell you $5/min seems insanely expensive unless it is printing in gold. There are lots of online places to find people with printers that will charge you /cm^3 try MakeXYZ to find someone in your area.

jlp6k on Nov 29, 2013 said:

I would like to know if nuts and threads are the metric or imperial ones? Thanks.

jpearce on Dec 1, 2013 said:

metric

matt_o_70 on Nov 27, 2013 said:

Wondering has anyone built a BOM for the hardware required?

nuraven on Nov 14, 2012 said:

Just wondering if you have details of all the other parts that are needed for the jack? I can see they are all threaded rods? But not sure what is between the scissor bits just below the top platform?

qharley on Aug 14, 2012 said:

Thanks Joshua!

I wanted to design one myself, but for quite a different application:
Holding test equipment for Radiation Quality Assurance Testing...

Cheers,
Q

jpearce on Aug 14, 2012 said:

Thanks! I would love to see it.

PropellerScience on Aug 14, 2012 said:

I knew it was just a matter of time before someone beat me to this :-D

viljamih on Aug 13, 2012 said:

In that main photo, is that upper level in a wrong way? I thought it should only move up/down, not sideways in doing so..

And that stickynes in gearing.. Slower ratio should make it smoother to use, now there is 2:1 ratio and your turning two nuts.. So one turn of crank makes basicly 4 turns for nuts. 1:1 would be better, 1:2 might be smooth (and you only need one more bigger gear to test it). 25% speed might be a
little slow for handcrank thought..

I dont know how much smooth movement is needed, but i would probably add some way for quick adjustment.. Say about 20-50mm steps for quicker adjustment.

Acarius10 on Aug 14, 2012 said:

As for the build platform, it only moves up and down. What do you mean by "Moving Sideways"

We are using M4 Threaded Rod. So I designed it using a 2:1 Ratio to give it a speed advantage so it doesn't take 5 minutes to raise and lower it.

The quick adjustment is a very good idea, I'll look into making that work.

MichaelAtOz on Aug 13, 2012 said:

Nice!!
&
lt;- two thumbs up

Could also have many other applications too.

I see the crank is using threaded rod which appears to go into a nut?? So does the crank move in and out, then how do the gears align?

What am I missing?

jpearce on Aug 14, 2012 said:

Thanks! You got it right - the threaded rod spins in place.

MichaelAtOz on Aug 14, 2012 said:

Ahh...Loktite I presume.

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