DIY Microscope Climate Chamber

By Macsylver on Saturday 3 March 2018 00:50 - Comments (15)
Category: Microscope, Views: 2.216

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/1*V9dowlJcANMLUa7X1H-uMQ.jpeg
First sketch of the DIY Microscope Climate Chamber for the Nikon Inverted Diaphot TMD Microscope.

The process & creation of the DIY microscope climate chamber.

In order to get better and more consistent results for the project Imaginarium of tears, it’s important to standardise the evaporation and crystallisation process of tears. To do this, I would need to create a climate chamber around the microscope, controlling the temperature and humidity at a pre set value.

With the experiments done for the Tear Collection Kit, data tells me that the optimal temperature and humidity of such a climate chamber would be around 12° Celsius and 40% humidity. 

To do this I would need to upgrade the microscope by building my own DIY climate chamber.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/1*dBoXVq99jRiP1tPRy8f4jQ.png
Current Microscope Setup with the DIY scanning stage.

Knowing that the microscope had an optional incubator mentioned in its original manual, I went on the internet to see if I could buy the old incubator chamber. Unfortunately as I expected, finding only the casing and or the control box was not easy. All setups where only sold together with a microscope, making it too expensive to justify.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1600/1*WKXrU1Guj7jSypxoYhH9DQ.png
The original optional Incubator mentioned in the original manual as available accessory.

The casing:
With the information available form the manual and other pictures from the internet, I decided give it a shot and designed the casing myself. Below you can see a preview of the first sketch of the climate chamber. 

Since I’m not a product or industrial designer, I would appreciate your additional feedback to make the design better. You can review the file here

The idea is to 3D print most of the black parts in ABS using my Ultimaker 2+ 3D printer, except for the he U profiles for the door. The 5mm plexiglass wil be bought and cut by laser or CNC. 

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/1*NBt5TQ4qe5QjVGDaM0AUWw.png
Click link to open the fusion 360 file and review the model: http://a360.co/2F5LfVD

Most of the basic shapes are taken from the old incubator designed by Nikon itself, things that I changed are: 
  • Bottom brackets to connect to the microscope.
  • Smaller casing, shorter on the left and right side. 
  • Placement and type of manipulator doors, no hinges but sliding door.  
  • Exhaust in and outtake for the climate control unit.  
  • Use of “connectors” in the corners, in stead of gluing plexiglass. This is an important modulair design change, related to traveling everything must be easy to take apart when needed.
In the next couple of days I will start 3D printing the “black parts” and see how they fit and iterate where needed.

Why not build a big case around the whole microscope  8-) ?

External climate control unit:

The second part designing the “climate control unit” is going to be far more complicated. Essentially the device needs to be able to cool, heat, humidify and de-humidify. If I would do this with simple house hold devices:

Cool = mini airco
Heat = hair dryer
Humidifier = mini humidifier
Dehumidifier= mini dehumidifier

There must be a better way so for cooling and dehumidify the chamber, I was thinking of using 1 or 2 (power full) peltier modules.

To heat up the chamber I could use a small air heater of 100 / 250 watt on 12V.

To humidify the camber, maybe I can disassemble this small humidifier.

But getting this right is probably something that will take me quite some time, I guess it's far from simple? Eventually It would be great, if I could achieve a wide spectrum of temperature and possible humidity combinations. But getting everything well balanced with a micro controller with good airflow and limited loss of heat or cold in an external device would be a challenge.

Spec wishes: 
- Temperature range 5° — 40° Celsius
- Humidity range 20 %— 80%

Feasible? Probably, but if its going to give me enough range in temperature and humidity I don't know. At least I hope to get the needed 12° Celsius and 40% humidity to standardise my evaporation and crystallisation process of tears.

Tho I have some basic experience with electronics, Arduino and coding, this will be a whole new challenge. More research is needed in the next weeks / months regarding the creation of a external climate control unit. Especially if you want to keep the costs as low as possible.

In the next blogs, I hope to give you more detailed insights regarding the build of the Climate Chamber.

If you have any feedback, suggestions, comments and or ideas regarding this idea and setup please let me know!