3D printed ETC chamber

We modeled the Nalgene chamber setup and designed an ETC chamber that can be 3D printed. Two sets of vertical grooves were added to hold the electrodes in place. There is also a groove for fitting an Oring. The design can be downloaded from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:106486. We use a Makerbot Replicator 2 and it prints well. Test units are available for those who don't have a 3D printer (yet), but only the first three requests will be honored due to our limited capacity. Please leave your request in the comments area. Thanks.


  • joelrosienejoelrosiene Posts: 63
    edited June 2013
    This is really cool - I should look into picking up a makerbot
  • willadlerwilladler Posts: 7
    Great idea. I was wondering how long it would be until someone designed one. Thanks for doing the legwork. We'd love a unit to try out!
  • Very awesome! I would love to see photos of the printed part if you have any handy.
  • achungachung Posts: 7
    I'd love to try one!
  • I guess I'll join in - I would love to test one of your chambers!
  • haochenhaochen Posts: 15
    Thank for all your interest. My makerbot is broken at the moment. Willadler, Achung and Joelrosiene, please send me your shipping address via the message system of this forum. You can click on my name and you will find the message button towards the upper right side of the screen. I will send out the chambers as soon as my bot is fixed.
  • Hi haochen. Thanks for posting this design. Can you please tell me whether or not you have tested it yet? I have tried several 3D designs at this point, and most of them have suffered from the problem of being not completely watertight in the high pressure circulation system. If your cup holds, I will probably copy the lid-locking mechanism.

    Also, since you are using a Makerbot Replicator 2, I am assuming you are printing entirely in PLA. Has this material held up in the clearing process? We have used ABS, and noticed that the material deforms enought to cause the bubbles from FDM to start to come out of the material. I think that PLA actually has a lower heat deformation index than ABS, so I wonder if that has created problems for you.

    For anyone else, once I have a really reliable and watertight design, I will be happy to share it as well. I will be getting and testing 2 new chambers this coming week. I have ordered them in an SLS printed nylon material, to see if that is a better option for heat and chemical resistance.
  • haochenhaochen Posts: 15
    Katherine, No. I have not tested the chambers. Yes. Ours is entirely printed in PLA. We are in the process of getting the system setup. I have tested the seal but not under high pressure and it holds. Will it be possible to do the ETC in a cold room or in ice water bath to prevent it from heating up?
  • aysegulaysegul Posts: 33
    Hi haochen, do i still have a chance for testing one of your chambers :D
  • haochenhaochen Posts: 15
    Aysegul. I'll ship you one set once my printer started working again. It is on strike right now. :(. Please send me your shipping address via the message system of the forum.
  • Thanks, haochen. It will be interesting to see if your O-ring holds to the pressure... if so, it would be an elegantly simple design.

    As for the PLA and temperature, it would be possible to run things in a cold room, but I am assuming that this would slow down the clearing process to some extent. It would be worth trying to run at ~37 degrees with the PLA... it's really the heat generated from the electrophoretic cell that creates the biggest problem. Externally, the structure holds... the ABS just gets warped on the inside, and eventually might crack. The walls of your chamber look pretty thick though. If you took the measurements from the protocol, 4.0mm should be a reasonable wall thickness to hold up.
  • haochenhaochen Posts: 15
    Katherine, thanks for the info. I did use a thick wall and we can print the wall with different infill percent. I am currently using 5 layers of 'shells' just to make sure the connector does not leak. It might be better to print the whole thing with 100% of infill to eliminate the air pockets in the wall and make it more efficient at transferring heat?
  • With my limited experience thus far, I would definitely suggest printing with as much infill as possible. I have had two different degrees of infill (though these were ordered so I don't know how much exactly), and the more solid chamber has done better.

    The other thing that I have done for the ABS is melt it some on the sides with acetone vapor, to sort of seal it. If something similar can be done with PLA, it's probably a good idea too.
  • aysegulaysegul Posts: 33
    That sounds great Haochen! thank you so much, i will send my shipping address. i cant wait to try it :D
  • stuberlabstuberlab Posts: 9
    I actually designed a chamber as well that looks fairly similar. I was going to test it today, but didn't get to it. I will try tomorrow. I did a preliminary test with just water to see if it would leak, and it seems to hold up well. I have a kind of locking mechanisms to add more pressure against the o-ring. Hopefully, we can get everything working tomorrow.

    Here is the design for what I made if anyone is interested http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:108854. I tried printing without many shells (maybe 2), 10% infill and 0.25-mm layer thickness on a Replicator 2. Worked fine from what I can tell with the just-water test.
  • JalalJalal Posts: 11
    Hi Haochen-- I'd also like to test your chamber if your printer isn't on strike anymore and if there are any available. Thanks for putting this out there!
  • haochenhaochen Posts: 15
    I just fixed my printer. I am printing them at 100% infill as suggested by Katherine. It looks like it will take about 4-5 hours to print one set. I have agreed to send out four sets. Hopefully, that will be enough to obtain feedback and improve the design. Without knowing how it performs, I will not send out more test versions. Thank you for all your interest!!
  • aysegulaysegul Posts: 33
    That' s a great news Haochen. I am looking forward to try it!
  • stuberlabstuberlab Posts: 9
    haochen, I would be interested in seeing how your printed parts work out. We tried our printed chamber, but the clearing solution just seeps through whatever cracks/holes it can find. I didn't print at 100% infill, which would probably help with the leaks we found just through the surface, but I'm not even sure 100% infill will completely stop all the leaks. Something worth trying though. This clearing solution is certainly difficult to handle.
  • haochenhaochen Posts: 15
    stuberlab, I printed one set at 100% infill yesterday and shipped it out to one of the testers. 100% on makerbot actually was not 100%, it more like 99%. There are still many visible holes. I think printing with many layers of shells would be a better option.
  • ohmillerohmiller Posts: 1
    haochen and stuberlab, please let me know when/if you have a model you would be willing to send out for a test. This is a great community, I am glad to have found it. Thanks!!
  • willadlerwilladler Posts: 7
    Hey Haochen, we received our chamber yesterday, and it looks great! Can't wait to try it. We have one brain running in our old chamber now so we will try it next week when that one finishes. Thanks!
  • haochenhaochen Posts: 15
    Will, thanks for letting me know. Would love to get some feedbacks. I only set out two sets so far. I have some other commitments I need to print. But hopefully I will be able to send out two more next week.
  • @haochen Just received my chamber yesterday! I also completed 9 perfusions on Tuesday, so I'll get you some feedback later in the week!
  • @joelrosiene @willadler Any updates on how the printed chambers are working out?
  • aysegulaysegul Posts: 33
    Haochen, is there any problem about the chamber? i have not received the chamber yet. I can not wait to receive the chamber :D when it reaches me approximately ?
  • haochenhaochen Posts: 15
    Aysegul, my printer is still on strike. It stops at random places in the middle of the print. Makerbot has mailed me a replacement nozzle but I am still waiting for it. Sorry for the long wait.
  • aysegulaysegul Posts: 33
    It does not matter Haochen. I just wondered if is there any problem about the our delivery system. I hope you will fix them soon.
  • MH1MH1 Posts: 2
    I printed the chamber you posted and bought the o-ring you recommended, but the top doesn't close. It doesn't seal well at all. Can you explain why that is? or maybe recommend another o-ring size?
  • haochenhaochen Posts: 15
    Sorry to hear that the o-ring does not fit. It worked well on my end. Was the o-ring too big or too smaller? I am printing one more set today and will take a few pictures.
Sign In or Register to comment.