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µCube: A framework for 3D printable optomechanics

uCube is open modular optomechanics kit, which is compatible with 3D printing. The idea behind the project is to create a framework for designing, building and sharing optical modules.

uCube is implemented using OpenSCAD, a programming language for CAD modelling. This allows every component to be described as a parametric model, which can be easily shared in a form of a code.

Design

The design consist of two core parts: uCube, a structural unit; and uFace, which is used to hold optical components in place. Each uCube accepts six uFaces, one for each side. Each assembled uCube can be thought of as a autonomous optical module, e.g. camera, objective, filter cube, etc. Several uCubes can be assembled together into an optical device, e.g. microscope, telescope, spectrometer, etc.

Parts

All the parts are stored in the Parts folder and groped into files by their function. In addition tge group files store definition of corresponding classes. Currently there are six groups defined in the following files:

  • uCubeCore.scad : Contains definitions of µCube and µFace.
  • uAperture.scad : Apertures.
  • uHolder.scad : Holders for generic components.
  • uLED.scad : LED-related parts
  • uLens.scad : A collection of lens holders
  • uRaspberryPi.scad : Raspberry Pi - related parts, includind a Raspberry Pi Camera face.

See Wiki pages for detailed description of parts.

Modules

Modules are assemblies of several parts into one µCube. The modules are stored in Modules folder.

  • uCubeModules.scad : Contains a generic definition of a module, which allows to create explode views, or flat arrangment of parts for 3D printing.

  • uCameraModule.scad : Raspberry Pi - based camera module. Comes in three types( "photo", "M12", "thin-lens" ).

  • uLightModule.scad : A light source module. Comes in thee types ("point", "collimator", "light-guide")