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X. | OPEN SOURCE HARDWARE - From Fibers to Fabric


with Elizabeth Henaff from the Technology, Culture and Society department at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in New York City.

  • Microbiome is the community of microorganisms that can usually be found living together in any given habitat.
a. b. c. d. e.
Soap (liquid) Destilated water Salt Soil Cold Etanol
2 ts 1/2 cup 1 ts 100 g chupito
  • plastic bag (zipper), measuring cup, spoon, paper (coffee) filters
  • Place the soil in a plastic bag and water with water to cover everything. * Crush all the lumps with your hands over the bag. * In a glass jar mix soap with salt and water. After add it in the plastic bag. * Filtrate the mixture using a coffee paper filter. * Place the filtered solution in a small cup (chupito).
  • Tilt the chupito to the side and place the neck of the ethanol bottle next to the cup. Ethanol must touch the glass during casting, not directly the mixture.
  • Do it very carefully and slowly.*
    * Straighten the chupito again and pick up a toothpick.
  • Slowly dip the toothpick into the solution and pull upwards. You will see a tiny fiber of DNA!






a. b. c.
Cellulose Hemicellulose Lignin
26 – 38 % 24 – 26 % 4 %
  • Component of avocado seed starch
a. b. c. d. e. f.
Water Ash Lipid Protein Amylose Amylopectin
16.6 % 0.23 % 1.09 % 2.16 % 0.07 % 73.55 %



N. Material name Quantity Source
1. Polywood 4 mm 1 board Fab Lab BCN
2. Hook screw 20 mm long 8 Fab Lab BCN
3. Aluminium tube 240 mm, ∅ 15 mm 2 Fab Lab BCN
4. Aluminium tube 165 mm, ∅ 12 mm 1 Fab Lab BCN
5. 6V DC Motor 1 Fab Lab BCN
6. 10K Potentiometer 1 Fab Lab BCN
7. C2625 Transistor 1 Fab Lab BCN
8. Alternate Current Adapter 1 Fab Lab BCN
Laser cutting
Material Thickness Speed Power Cutting time
Polywood 4 mm 1 100 10 min 10 s


DC Motor circuit
  • DC motor
  • IRF540N MOSFET(N) Transistor
  • Potentiometer 10kΩ
  • Power supply of 5V or more, depending on the motor




N. Material name Quantity Source
1. Syringe 60 mml 1 board Pharmacy
2. 3D printed parts 4 Fab Lab BCN
3. Metal rods (smooth) 300 mm, ∅ 7 mm 2 Fab Lab BCN
4. Metal rods (spiral) 300 mm, ∅ 7 mm 1 Fab Lab BCN
5. Polywood 4 mm 1 Fab Lab BCN
6. M3 20 mm 5 Fab Lab BCN
7. Cap nuts 5 Fab Lab BCN
8. Aluminium tube 3 Fab Lab BCN
9. Plastic tube 3 Fab Lab BCN
10. Stepper motor 1 Fab Lab BCN
11. Arduino Microcontroller 1 Fab Lab BCN
12. Arduino CNC Shield 1 Fab Lab BCN
13. Power supply 1 Fab Lab BCN
14. Alternate Current Adapter 1 Fab Lab BCN
Laser cutting
Material Thickness Speed Power Cutting time
Polywood 4 mm 1 100 5 min 30 s

Components & Assembly


Stepper Motor circuit
  • Arduino Mega
  • RAMPS 1.4 RepRap Shield
  • Nema 17 Stepper Motor * Stepper Motor Driver
  • Potentiometer 10kΩ
  • Power supply
  • Arduino is not necessary to control DC motor with a potentiometer, it just gives more control options thank to the mapping option. DC motor + Mosfet + potentiometer could work alone though.
Arduino code
  • Simple Stepper Motor - Extruder
int enablePin = 38;
int dirPinM1 = 55;

int Pulse = 54;

int POT = A5;

//int oldstepDelay = 0;
int stepDelay = 0;
bool start = true;
bool dir = false;
bool enableMot = 1;
int maxdelay = 3000;
int mindelay = 250;

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
  //Serial.begin(115200);  if uncommented the motors runs slower due to serial wait timings
  pinMode(POT, INPUT);
  pinMode(enablePin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(dirPinM1, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(Pulse, OUTPUT);
  start = 0;
  // Serial.println("Starting");

void loop() {
  if (start == 1) {
    digitalWrite(enablePin, LOW);
    digitalWrite(dirPinM1, dir);
  if (start == 0) {
    digitalWrite(enablePin, HIGH);

  int potPos = analogRead(POT);
  // Serial.println(potPos);

  //stepdelayMicroseconds = map(analogRead(POT),0,1024,1,maxdelayMicroseconds);
  // make the motors move both irections depending on pots position
  if (potPos < 500) {
    start = 1;
    digitalWrite(dirPinM1, HIGH);
    stepDelay = map(potPos, 0, 500, mindelay, maxdelay);
  else if (potPos > 600) {
    start = 1;
    digitalWrite(dirPinM1, LOW);
    stepDelay = map(potPos, 600, 1023, maxdelay, mindelay);
  else {
    start = 0;


void motorStep() {

  //if(start == 1){
  digitalWrite(Pulse, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(Pulse, LOW);

  // }



  • knife, grinder, cooking pot, coffee filter / textile, taper or bowl
  • You can use leftovers - avocado pits from natural dyeing (Week 04 - Biochromes). After you boiled them, cut them in quarters and grind the pits using a grinder or cold press juicer. * Store grounded avocado leftovers in a plastic or glass container and cover it with water (2 cm above the layer of the grounded pits). * Leave it in the water for an hour. * Filter it with a paper filter or you can also use a textile (but not too thin).
  • Now you have to wait for the water to evaporate. It depends on how much water you have used and the room temperature. * You can remove a low layer of water or in my case it took 1-2 days to dry completely. The sediment at the bottom of your container is extracted cellulose.
  • Once is dry use a pestle to thinner the starch.

The starch has a really nice natural color - red / orange.

Biomaterial - extrusion
  • Ingredients
Biopolymers Bioplasticizer Solvent Additives
Alginate Glycerol Destilated water Cellulose
15 g 50 g 400 ml x g
  • Solution
a. b.
Calcium Chloride Water
10 g 100 ml
  • Sodium Alginate
  • Description: Sodium alginate is a water-insoluble, gelatinous, cream-coloured substance that can be created through the addition of aqueous calcium chloride to aqueous sodium alginate. It has many applications in biology, but primarily known for its healing properties due to the compound's ability to encase enzymes in order to simulate new plant tissue.
  • Alginate is a naturally occurring anionic polymer typically obtained from brown seaweed due to its biocompatibility, low toxicity, relatively low cost, although the addition of divalent Ca2+ (calcium ions) results in mild gelation. Thus, considered a naturally occurring biomaterial.

  • Glycerol

    • is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is sweet-tasting and non-toxic. Glycerol is generally obtained from plant and animal sources where it occurs as tryglycerides. Typical sources include soybeans and palm, and animal-derived tallow. * Common uses: Food and beverage industries, pharmaceuticals, and metabolism.
  • stirring spoon, weight, measuring cup, hand blender, glass jar, injection, gloves, dehydrator, breathable textile
  • Add the destilated water in the measuring cup, alginate powder, glycerol and blend them with the hand blender. Mix them slowly to avoid any bubbles. If you are not that lucky let it settle down for 2-3h to remove all the bubbles.
  • After or before, you can add the activated chaorcal.
  • Measure the water and calcium chloride and mix them properly in a transparent measuring cup.
  • Fill the injection with the paste and extrude it the solution of calcium chloride.
  • Immediately remove them from the calcium chloride and transfer to a second container of clean water.
  • Wind them with a Hilo spinning machine.

Material Parametres
  • Extrusion - 3 mm
Viscosity Curing time Melting point Stickiness Structural properties Visual Structure Texture Strengh
High Naturally: 2-3 days Fireproof Low Flexible Opaque Water resistant x x
  • Extrusion - 5 mm
Viscosity Curing time Melting point Stickiness Structural properties Visual Structure Texture Strengh
High Naturally: 2-3 days Fireproof Low Flexible Opaque Water resistant x x
  • Techniques: knitting, weaving

Last update: 2022-01-30