All posts by Winand

OpenTrons and miniPCR

This month is proving to be a good month for open-source laboratory hardware. Two projects which have been showing steady progress for quite some time now are ready for large-scale production and have launched kickstarter campaigns to achieve this.


The miniPCR is exactly what it sounds like, a small PCR machine that fits on your workbench. The developers have made some great control software so you can load protocols from your phone,and are using sauna heaters to do the heating. Their kickstarter has been doing very well but some of their stretch goals look good too, so be sure to check them out.

It may appear as though these guys did what we set out to do with our OpenerPCR project, just better. This is largely true, however, we still believe there are some gains to be made in terms of price and the OpenerPCR project still has some use for people wanting to build their own. Either way, a big congratulations to the miniPCR crew and we are confident their product will have a large impact.


As many a scientist knows, sometimes lab work can be so monotonous and repetitive, it makes you feel like a trained monkey. Well, despair no more! Meet your low-cost, open-source lab-monkey: OpenTrons!

By letting this baby take care of the more brain-dead aspects of lab work, scientists around the world can now focus their efforts on the designing of experiments and protocols rather than executing them. At a price of $2000 these robots are a steal and hopefully we will see them used in labs worldwide.

Check out their kickstarter page here.

dutch flyer for the 2014 Makercouse at De Jongen Onderzoekers


DIYbio Groningen is working with De Jonge Onderzoekers to present a “Makercourse” where you can learn how to use 3D printers, Arduino, electronics and lasercutters to do experiments in biology and build fun projects.

The course will start on August 22 and take place every Friday from 19:00 till 22:00. It will cost 20 euro for all courses up until the winter holidays.

Sound like fun?     Want to paticipate?

Shoot us an email at or come to the first session on August 22nd.

Cathal Garvey’s IndieBB

Cathal Garvey, a valued member of the DIYbio community, has recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to create a DIYbio starter kit which he is calling “IndieBB”.

If you would like to learn more, or better yet, contribute, check out the campaign.

IndieBB is an open-source, small and circular piece of DNA (a ‘plasmid‘) that comes with everything you need to make your first engineered cell, with as little technical prowess or resources as possible. The engineered cells will be bright fluorescent green, enabling you to readily observe your success.