Open-Source Lab (book)

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Cover for "Open-Source Lab" by Joshua M. Pearce (ISBN 9780124104624)

The Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs by Joshua M. Pearce was published in 2014 by Elsevier (ISBN 9780124104624).

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 be Shareable for "New Books About Sharing, Cities and Happiness".[14]


The author, Joshua Pearce, 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]


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

Interwiki links[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 - 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".