Public Lab Research note

This is an upgrade for spectrometry. Try building it and report back how it goes.

Tweaks to foldable mini-spectrometer design

by warren | May 04, 2016 20:21 04 May 20:21 | #13076 | #13076

What I want to do

A few months ago, I taught a papercraft class at Parts & Crafts, and we went through a lot of different paper hinges, joints, and fasteners, so I tried some out on a mod of the mini foldable spectrometer (available in the store here).

Update: for detailed instructions on assembling this design with step by step photos, see this note.

My attempt and results

It's tough to figure out a glue-less fastening which is also light-tight, but one way is to have double flaps. This is clearly a work in progress, but I also widened the design so it's easier to hold, and fits our wider acetate slits, and makes a wider band of spectrum, so it's easier to get a cross section.

I also found it made it wide enough to put instructions on -- I thought perhaps build instructions could go around the cutout, and usage instructions could go on the device itself -- kind of like the instructions written on the door of the Antikythera mechanism (thinking back to the talk I gave at the Open Hardware Summit a few years ago)!


(image via Wikipedia

Here are a bunch of photos:






Questions and next steps

I think a more thorough division of instructions between construction/use as outlined above is a good next step, and further work has to be done on attempting glue-less attachments, if possible.

I'd like to see if it's possible to make it easier to print onto stiff non-black paper, and just blacken the back (by printing black ink, or painting it). This'd make it easier to reproduce.

Why I'm interested

This design's been around a while, but there's still room for improvement! It's a great onboarding opportunity too.

Design files

__ foldable-2.0.1.pdf

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