Re: [DIYbio] Why are PCR machines and biotech equipment in general so expensive

On 04/21/2017 10:47 AM, Dennis Oleksyuk wrote:
> Because the cost of consumables and labor for solving a particular problem is usually higher than the cost of the machine.
> Therefore the buyers are more interested in saving in labor and consumable cost

This is one place where some equipment suppliers are going slower than I think they ought to. It's where I
aim my new developments -- how to do something that has been done before with less labor and more
automated steps. I think most lab gear companies are not adapting as quickly as they should with all the nice
hardware development tools we have now. I'm working on shoestring low budget stuff, but if some of it hits, there will be no
trouble affording better plastic molds to attract some of the customers who demand flashy looks. Most lab customers will be
buying because of automation tie ins and saving steps in processes more than the housing it comes in.

To come up with time saving steps that have not been done before is not easy and that's a reason the
equipment costs -- to pay for the "not easy" design steps. Established companies have a lot of designed "looks"
to keep up and that could be making them hold back on introducing new designs as quickly as they could.
The plastic molds for those "looks" are very expensive, so that is a hurdle to action.

I'm going to be trying out designing/buying 3D printed molds to use to make product, and the molds won't be up to snuff for
cell phone types of products, only maybe forgivable as ways to get housings for scientist tools to test
low volume equipment ideas. Another way to get a product out is to carve housings out of plastic
instead of molding anything -- plastic molds can take a lot of time, cost a ton, weigh a ton.
The culture shock electroporator project will have carved then molded housings as it progresses.
The molds will be light weight aluminum things that won't last for volume production, just to get started
and be able to change and adapt.

PCR machines with vials are definitely needing lots of molding tech, so the above expense reasons fit them.
John Griessen

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