GelIS: The Box

GelIS yet?

GelIS yet?

HEY, if you are interested in beta testing one of these systems, I am looking for users.  I will supply the box, the transluminator, and 100v variable power supply for $150.  Fill out this form if you are interested.  I expect to ship by mid august.

GelIS is a backronym for Gel Integrated System.  As I mentioned before, I want to respond to the needs of the DIY bio community with the design.  The design criteria are:

  • Easy to build: You should be able to put it together in less than 10 minutes, and run a gel.
  • High Quality: This should look professional, and you should be able to use it for a long time
  • Low Cost: Many of the potential users are students (who don’t make much money), schools (which don’t have much money) and folks who are new to biology (and are unsure of spending a lot of money).

Traditionally, the gel box itself has been very expensive.  I believe this is the result of the complexity of the design.  One way to quantify the complexity of a design is to look at how many pieces it has, how many materials there are, and how they are fastened together.  Below are some comparisons of boxes, looking at the “box” part alone, including combs and whatever you need to cast, and ignoring everything else.  Included are the prices new.

Pearl biotech ($200 ish): 13 plastic pieces (one thermoformed), 2 rubber gaskets.  13 acrylic weld joints, 2 glued gaskets, roughly 5 materials (rubber gasket, thick acrylic, thin acrylic, white acrylic, amber acrylic)

Owl Mini Gel Box ($400 ish): 15 plastic pieces (several thermoformed, and two injection molded), about 20 weld joints, 2 glued gaskets, roughly 4 materials (gasket, injection molded plastic, yellow plastic, clear plastic)

“BIOTANG” Gel box ($350): 7 pieces, injection molded.  This one is kinda cool because you can stack gels, and run more than one at once!  two or three materials

GelIS Box ($50):  5 peices, laser cut, 1 weld joint.  Connects to the power system via 3 laser cut pieces, which contain 8 bolted connections.  Pending thermoforming, the parts count can be reduced by two pieces of plastic, and all the bolts.

So as far as complexity goes, the GelIS box has more pieces than the BIOTANG, but less than the other boxes.  It also has a dramatically lower price tag.  This may be because it only has a single weld joint, rather than 13-20 joints.  I intend to weld that joint at the “factory” ensuring that assembly is quick and painless, and that the box is leak free.  Assembly should require no tools other than their hands, to screw a few nuts onto bolts on here and there (screwdriver recommended, but optional).

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