Open-Source Lab (book)

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Open-Source Lab
AuthorJoshua M. Pearce
CountryUnited States
Publication date
November 7, 2013 (2013-11-07)
Media typePrint
ISBN978-0124104624 (hardcover)
LC ClassQ185 .P43 2014

The Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs by Joshua M. Pearce was published in 2014 by Elsevier.

The academic book is a guide, which details the development of free and open-source hardware primarily for scientists and university faculty.[1] It provides step-by-step instructions on building laboratory hardware and scientific instruments. It also provides instructions on digital design sharing, Arduino microcontrollers, RepRap 3D Printers for scientific use and how to use open-source hardware licenses. The Guardian discusses how ideas in the Open-Source Lab could enable 3D printing to offer developing-world scientists savings on replica lab kits.[2] The Open-Source Lab book has been covered extensively by the media.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] It was one of the top books chosen by Shareable for "New Books About Sharing, Cities and Happiness".[14]

The book itself is not open source and is sold under copyright by Elsevier.


The author claims the method enables researchers in every discipline to develop research tools at low costs following his previous research in open-source hardware published in Science.[15][16] These claims have been generally supported by others using the techniques, such as those in the DIYbio community.[17] While discussing the book in an interview with 3-D Printing Industry, Pearce has claimed to save thousands of dollars in his own lab,[18] and his various studies on the economics of printing lab equipment, such as a PLOS ONE article on open-source optics have generally found over 90% savings.[19] A study on the use of 3D printing in this context cited this book as also being good for the environment.[20]


  1. Introduction to Open-Source Hardware for Science
  2. The Benefits of Sharing—Nice Guys and Girls do Finish First
  3. Open Licensing—Advanced Sharing
  4. Open-Source Microcontrollers for Science: How to Use, Design Automated Equipment With and Troubleshoot
  5. RepRap for Science—How to Use, Design, and Troubleshoot the Self-Replicating 3-D Printer
  6. Digital Designs and Scientific Hardware
  7. The Future of Open-Source Hardware and Science


Copies of Open-Source Lab were a prize in an Instructables "Build My Lab" Contest sponsored by Tekla Labs.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Book of the Day: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs, Michel Bauwens, P2P Foundation 12/28/2013
  2. ^ 3D printing could offer developing world savings on replica lab kit - The Guardian, Friday 21 February 2014 01.59 EST
  3. ^ MTU Prof Writes 3D Printing Guide For Scientists On A Budget - CBS 11-18-2013
  4. ^ DIY and Save: A Scientist's Guide to Making Your Own Lab Equipment - Science Daily 11-13-2013
  5. ^ Book Covers DIY Open-Source Hardware for Science Projects - Power Electronics
  6. ^ MTU Prof writes 3D printing guide to making your own low-cost lab equipment - 3Drs
  7. ^ How to build lab equipment with open-source hardware - Machine Design
  8. ^ 3D printing can reduce science lab equipment costs by 90% - Nanowerk
  9. ^ "Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs - KurzweilAI".
  10. ^ 3D printing used to create a basement laboratory on the cheap Archived 2014-03-04 at the Wayback Machine - Geek
  11. ^ Ready Roundup: Microsoft 3D Builder, Open Source Lab, DMG Mori, and Victoria’s Secret - Rapid Ready Tech
  12. ^ Equip your lab for less - 3D print your equipment -Labonline
  13. ^ DIY Guide for 3D Printed Lab Equipment - 3D Printing Insider
  14. ^ Top 15 New Books About Sharing, Cities and Happiness – Shareable.
  15. ^ Pearce, Joshua M. 2012. “Building Research Equipment with Free, Open-Source Hardware.Science 337 (6100): 1303–1304.
  16. ^ How Scientists Can Cut Costs by Making Their Own Lab Equipment - Lab Manager - November 19, 2013
  17. ^ Science Counterculture: On taking DIYbio to the next level - The Scientist - December 9, 2013
  18. ^ "Printers for Pearce: An Interview with 3D Printers for Peace's Dr. Joshua Pearce". 3D Printing Industry.
  19. ^ Zhang C, Anzalone NC, Faria RP, Pearce JM (2013) Open-Source 3D-Printable Optics Equipment. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59840. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059840
  20. ^ Kreiger, M.(2013). Environmental Life Cycle Analysis of Distributed 3-D Printing and Conventional Manufacturing of Polymer Products. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
  21. ^ "Build My Lab Contest".

External links[edit]