Share this article:


  • Join our comunity:

How to 3D Print Your Own Lab Equipment

By: , Posted on: April 30, 2014

3D PrinterMany scientists do their research with custom single-built equipment fabricated in-house. In the past, custom-building equipment was both challenging and costly because fabrication requires the skills of machinists, glassblowers, technicians, or outside suppliers. However, the open-source paradigm is now enabling creation of open-source scientific hardware by combining 3-D printing with open-source microcontrollers. In this way scientists can develop an Open-Source Lab of high-quality custom equipment at much lower costs than was ever possible before.

In the following video, Joshua Pearce, author of Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs demonstrates how you can create your own lab equipment with low-cost 3D printing.



Joshua’s book: Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs is available for purchase on the Elsevier Store. Get FREE access to selected content from this book and save 25% when you use code “OSL25”.

About the Author:

Joshua Pearce BiopicDr. Joshua M. Pearce received his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and holds Chemistry and Physics degrees from the same institution. He currently is an Associate Professor cross-appointed in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Michigan Technological University where he runs the Open Sustainability Technology Research Group. His research concentrates on the use of open source appropriate technology to find collaborative solutions to problems in sustainability and poverty reduction. You can learn about his lab here at the Pearce Research Group.

Joshua has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications based on his research. Most recently his group has become well-known for cutting the costs of scientific research by designing open-source hardware using 3-D printers and micro-controllers.

Dr. Pearce is an energetic advocate for sustainability and open-source development in the sciences and due to his interdisciplinary background, he is uniquely positioned to provide a broad yet detailed view of this exploding area of exploration. His work in this area has been published or featured in Popular Mechanics, ArsTechnica, Nature, Chemical and Engineering News, PLOS One, and in Science: on “Building Research Equipment with Free, Open-Source Hardware”. Dr. Pearce is an administrator on Appropedia, the largest online wiki dedicated to sustainability and poverty reduction and a frequent contributor to Thingiverse, a repository of digital designs of real objects.

Connect with us on social media and stay up to date on new articles

2 thoughts on “How to 3D Print Your Own Lab Equipment

  1. Generally I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice post.

  2. 3D Prating is good idea albeit it seem distant dream since no one will be able to sustain the cost of 3d printer for Scientific research cost. Everybody know their their are already a lot of expanse on scientific research & development. Then why would anyone bother about adding more cost to the project.

Comments are closed.


A field as broad as chemistry is cross-disciplinary by nature. Chemistry researchers, in their work or study, may encounter issues in materials science, biochemistry, chemical engineering, or a wide range of other disciplines. In addition to the major areas of organic and inorganic chemistry, Elsevier content covers advanced topics such as quantum chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical and theoretical chemistry, energy generation and storage, nano-chemistry, surface and interface chemistry, and environmental chemistry. This content is available over a spectrum of formats that includes journals, books, eBooks, undergraduate textbooks, multi-volume reference works, and innovative databases and online products like Reaxys. Learn more about our Chemistry books here.