Bio Academy #2 – Magnetic Hood

When you’re too lazy to stir, technology comes to the rescue. For the second BHA lab we built a magnetic stirrer from laser cut parts and off the shelf components. Powered directly from a 12v DC power supply, we modulate the speed of the motor through a potentiometer.

In our basic build, we omit the heating element making for a simpler circuit.  The learning here was a crash course in basic electronics; how to use a pull-down resistor to set the motor voltage to 0 when the switch is off, how to wire a three legged potentiometer, and most importantly, how a breadboard works.

Build photos posted soon and I’ll be building my own version of a mixer inspired by retro Braun Radios and Analog Synths.

Bio Academy #1 – Sterile Hood

Building the sterile hood for the first bio-hack academy activity. The hood uses filtered positive air pressure to keep the bad shit out and the good shit in. The hood gets sterilized with ethanol before the items are placed inside and left to run for a few minutes before they are sealed and put away.

Nailing the airflow is key. A clear path is needed for air entry and exit with enough space available to insert and work with objects inside.

The prototype we built is hacked together with tape and tubes – built with minimal cost and under an hour,  we’ll see how it works out next week.

It turns out that having a sealed environment is unnecessary and we don’t need glove attachments to work with the materials inside. The positive air pressure is enough to force materials out like a clean room so in the next version, we can remove the large plastic bag pictured on the left of the box.


  • Plastic Container
  • HEPA Filter
  • Blow Drier
  • Tubing
  • Duct Tape