Novaetech Develops OpenQCM with High Mass Sensitivity

By CIOReview | Monday, January 5, 2015
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FREMONT, CA: Novaetech – a company that provides goods and services in R&D and advanced technologies fields – has designed open source-based Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) using 3D printing. The company is a spin-off of the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), and it is focused on new generations of mass sensors based on quartz crystal microbalance and MEMS technologies,   reports TE Edwards, for 3dprint.com.

Open QCM is an open-source scientific device for applications in chemical and biological sensing: it is developed with a quartz sensor which can measure mass deposition down to 1 billionth of grams. QCM is designed to operate in vacuum, gas phase and liquid environments. It serves as an analytical tool for applications, and is an ideal solution for material mass sensing. The system is driven by the piezoelectric property of the quartz crystal.

Glenda Torres Guizado, who is one of the designers for the project, believes: using 3D printing to achieve the end product and verify its pertinence in the scientific precision sector has been a major improvement over limiting the use of 3D printing for prototyping alone. OpenQCM’s parts were created with the assistance of Sculpteo –a company specialized in 3D printing in the cloud, using selective laser sintering (SLS).  

“The openQCM concept is inspired by the emerging movement of the open source hardware. It means that openQCM is a hardware whose design is made publicly available, in such a way that everyone can study, modify and distribute the hardware based on that design,” RaffaeleBattaglia, astrophysicist, founder of Novaetech.