Commit 3dc8e8e4 authored by Julian Stirling's avatar Julian Stirling 🐧

Updated readme a bit.

parent 6c6e5821
......@@ -3,18 +3,38 @@ A 3D Printable high-precision 3 axis translation stage.
This project is a 3D printable design that enables very fine (sub-micron) mechanical positioning of a small moving stage, with surprisingly good mechanical stability. It follows on from the [OpenFlexure Microscope](https://github.com/rwb27/openflexure_microscope) which is discussed in a [paper in Review of Scientific Instruments](http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4941068) (open access). Currently, it's designed to function as a more-or-less drop in replacement for fibre alignment stages available from various scientific suppliers, but the project aims to be useful to electrophysiologists, nanotechnology folk, and many more.
![An assembled block stage](docs/images/block_stage_assembled.jpg)
![A render ofan OpenFlexure Block Stage](docs/images/blockstage_render.png)
## Kits and License
This project is open-source and is released under the CERN open hardware license. You can buy a kit of the openflexure microscope from [WaterScope](http://www.waterscope.org/). Currently, only microscope kits are listed, but if you send an email it should be possible to get this stage as a custom order.
This project is open-source and is released under the CERN open hardware license. We are working on bring able to sell kits through [OpenFlexure Industries Ltd.](https://www.openflexure.com/), and will update here once we have a good way of doing it.
## Printing/building it yourself
To build the stage, download the [STL files](./stl/) and print them. Don't just print everything from the STL folder,
as currently it contains some parts that must be printed multiple times, and other parts
that are redundant. The readme in that folder should point you in the right direction.
To build the stage you will need to use OpenSCAD to create STL files from the `.scad` files. We are working on automatic building in the near future.
Instructions for this stage are currently work-in-progress. However, the assembly of the actuators is exactly the same as for the OpenFlexure Microscope, which has [online instructions](http://rwb27.github.io/openflexure_microscope/docubricks/current_master_version.html). Instead of separate feet, this design has a single baseplate, which is just glued onto the bottom of the main body of the stage. Once the actuators are assembled as per those instructions, you just need to mount whatever you're going to translate onto the stage using the 8 M3 "self tapping" holes (tapping them with a tap wrench can help get the screw started). There's a "moving stage" part that makes it a drop-in replacement for the ThorLabs/Newport XYZ fibre alignment stages, if that is of interest.
There are some build instructions in the `docs` folder. They are rather incomplete, but they will be improved in the near future.
## Get Involved
It's already useful if you get involved by raising [issues](https://github.com/rwb27/openflexure_block_stage/issues) if there are things that aren't clear, and anyone who might want to help write better instructions would be very welcome. Ideally it should be in DocuBricks format, but Markdown/Wiki is a lot better than nothing. Improvements to the code, or even just sharing parameters you used (if you customised it) and how well it worked would be great. If you've built one, please post a photo and any comments - you could use the wiki, or [raise an issue tagged "build report"](https://github.com/rwb27/openflexure_block_stage/issues/new?labels=build%20report).
This project is open so that anyone can get involved, and you don't have to learn OpenSCAD to help (although that would be great). Ways you can contribute include:
* Raise [issues](https://gitlab.com/openflexure/openflexure-block-stage/issues) if there are things that aren't clear.
* Help us write the instructions. We are planning on writing our instructions in markdown (with some [extra meta-data to automate the bill of materials](https://gitlab.com/bath_open_instrumentation_group/git-building)).
* Improvements to the code, or even just sharing parameters you used (if you customised it) and how well it worked would be great.
* Share your images of your OpenFlexure Block Stage on social media - you can mention @openflexure on Twitter
## Developing
If you want to play with the OpenSCAD files or change the documentation, you should fork the repository. You can edit the documentation online in GitLab, or clone the repository if you want to edit the OpenSCAD files. NB you'll need to clone the whole repository as the OpenSCAD files are dependent on each other.
### LFS files
This repository will store images using Git LFS, and is set up not to download these to your computer. This is intended to make life easier for the members of our community who don't have fast internet connections. If you want to download these, you can enable it with:
```bash
git lfs install
git config --local lfs.fetchexclude "/docs/images,/docs/StageImages"
git lfs fetch
git lfs checkout
```
NB the above commands will not download the full-resolution original images, or the design files. New files will always be pushed. If you don't need a local copy of the images, it's safe just to ignore this.
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