The introduction of affordable, consumer-oriented 3-D printers is a milestone in the current “maker movement,” which has been heralded as the next industrial revolution. Combined with free and open sharing of detailed design blueprints and accessible development tools, rapid prototypes of complex products can now be assembled in one’s own garage—a game-changer reminiscent of the early days of personal computing.

It therefore comes as no surprise that more and more researchers are beginning to integrate the possibilities offered by 3-D printing and off-the-shelf electronics into their own lab routines, be it to modify existing equipment or to build new tools from scratch. The results are typically published under an Open Source licence in online repositories such as thingiverse, instructables or Hack-a-day. More mature projects are often also submitted for publication in international peer reviewed open access outlets such as PLoS, Frontiers, eLife or Nature Communications.

Want to learn more? Suggested reading:

For Neuroscientists, see also Openeuroscience by A Chagas

Open-labware.net featured in the press (selection):

  • Nature News (English). link
  • University Radio Tübingen (German). link
  • “Attempto!” Magazine (German and English). link (p28-31)
  • Ask me Anything” feature on Reddit
  • Deutschlandfunk, Germany (National Radio) audio; transcript.
  • Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany (National Newspaper). link.
  • PBS/BBC: How we get to next, USA. link.
  • Queensland Times, Australia. (Newspaper) link.
  • ARD-alpha, Germany. (TV panel discussion; Podcast)
  • Schwäbisches Tagblatt, Germany. (Local Newspaper). link.