Open source DIY microtome plans

Here you can discuss DIY adaptations to the microscope.
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Andy Ternay
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Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:33 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Open source DIY microtome plans

#1 Post by Andy Ternay » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:45 am

Image
Somehow I stumbled onto this linked .pdf with plans for a simple DIY microtome using slides and epoxy. I was curious if any other users of this forum had thoughts about this method. There is no way provided to measure your cut. It is trial and error. Although, I thought that if you epoxied a stainless steel nut and put a long thin bolt up the channel that holds the specimen and epoxied a slide across the top - presto, you have a way to regulate how thick of a cut you are making. I expect other tweaks to the design may be needed as well.

The version pictured in the above photo is the 3-d printed version of the microtome.

https://pages.stolaf.edu/wp-content/upl ... 170415.pdf

MichaelG.
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Re: Open source DIY microtome plans

#2 Post by MichaelG. » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:06 am

Thanks for sharing that ... But frankly, I think it looks like a lot of wasted effort.

To my mind, a fundamental defining feature of a Microtome is that it provides controlled movement along a defined axis. ... This device fails to provide that.

It may serve as a baseline for students to design something that works, by exploring its deficiencies !
But it seems to be an excuse to play with the 3D printer.

MichaelG.
Too many 'projects'

Hobbyst46
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Re: Open source DIY microtome plans

#3 Post by Hobbyst46 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:22 am

MichaelG. wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:06 am
Thanks for sharing that ... But frankly, I think it looks like a lot of wasted effort.

To my mind, a fundamental defining feature of a Microtome is that it provides controlled movement along a defined axis. ... This device fails to provide that.

It may serve as a baseline for students to design something that works, by exploring its deficiencies !
But it seems to be an excuse to play with the 3D printer.

MichaelG.
Well said, Michael.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

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jimur
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Re: Open source DIY microtome plans

#4 Post by jimur » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:32 am

Here's a link to the most simple workable DIY slicer I've seen for soft samples. It also eliminates the need for tissue support. (carrot, potato, wax, etc.)

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/ind ... icera.html
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Andy Ternay
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Open source DIY microtome plans

#5 Post by Andy Ternay » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:06 pm

Thank you jimur!

Yes, I was questioning the effectiveness of the one I posted for the same reasons. Thanks for confirming that was a valid worry!

MicroBob
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Re: Open source DIY microtome plans

#6 Post by MicroBob » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:10 pm

Hi together,
the only use I can imagine for the 3d-printed microtome is in education of smaller children. The holding fingers are protected quite well.
This is a common example for designs in 3d-print databases like thingiverse. Many models badly desiged, never even tested, useless gimmicks, problem solvers for non-existing problems... This makes searching for useful models quite tiresome. For the right application 3d-printing is great, but designing models is at least as difficult as designing for other manufacturing methods.

In my view there is a market for a small hobbyist microtome. The available cylinder microtomes are not made very well and need a table clamp to perform best. And a real big microtome is too big and heavy for many people and has to be bought used to be affordable. I have already been thinking about designing one but other projects , (paraffin embedding and diatom slide making) are taking up my time at the moment.

Recently I showed a hand section through a Sequoia gigantensis needle, in fluorescence contrast. It was simply cut free hand with an OLFA cutter knife blade. I guided the blade with a finger nail and it was easy to get a nice section. It probably would make sense to make more hand sections!

Bob

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