Picture of Magnetic Separation Stand
photo (1).JPG
photo (2).JPG
photo (3).JPG
photo (4).JPG
photo (5).JPG
I was not pleased with the price for Promega and Millipore magnetic separation stands for protein purification ($45 to $377), so I set out to design my own.  In this Instructable I will cover the process of making this simple $3 magnetic separation stand using a 3D printer (PLA) and cheap rare earth magnets, which works just as well as the commercial versions but which costs a hell of a lot less. If you are enterprising, you could even convince your PI that a 3D-printer for your lab makes business sense, given the high cost of many small plastic lab trinkets.  Print off two 8-position magnetic separation stands and you've more than paid for a RepRap! 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Print off the newest file from Thingiverse

Picture of Print off the newest file from Thingiverse
My latest revision of the stand is here:

I made it at Techshop ( on their Replicator 2 (3D printer, in PLA with 3 shells and 35% fill).  If you are curious about my design process, here is my first revision: Since then I have gone through different designs, and even an 8-position version!  Ultimately, the design included an angled center wall, in order to bring the magnets closer to the sidewall of the 1.5 mL microfuge tube.  This increased the speed with which the rare earth magnets can separate the magnetic beads for all your magnetics-based purification needs.  

Step 2: Buy magnets. Insert them into the base.

Picture of Buy magnets.  Insert them into the base.
photo (1).JPG
photo (5).JPG
photo (4).JPG
These 8 mm by 2 mm magnets will hold themselves in the stand by attracting to one another (a serendipitous part of this latest design!)  Insert 4 into each cavity/recess (you can easily double up the number of magnets if you bought 8 mm by 1 mm rare earth magnets).  
NonDisjunction (author) 1 year ago
You can make Taq in your lab -- one of the PIs in my building has never purchased it, and makes enough Pfu pol once a year. Ever purified an enzyme or protein? It's as easy as that.
the plastic equipment is not the expensive part, neither is the machines and computers its the gosh darn reagents that are the expensive part.
if you can figure out how to make some taq polymerase at tech shop then we might have something. ;-)
you should make a pickpen next. i dont see how a retractable pen with a magnet should cost $500