Here is how to build your own DIY cleanroom using 3D printed parts that you can download or if you don't have a 3D printer, you can buy them. It also requires a few other parts that are shown below. The overall goal of this project is to produce a class 10,000 cleanroom that you can build yourself.
The project started after seeing this air filter for sale without the vacuum. The current design uses Ridgid part #VF3500, but part #VF6000 is probably preferred since it is actually a HEPA filter. The only difference is the length of the filter and what size particles the filter removes.
The RadioShack Cooling Fan part #273-0241 seems to provide a reasonable airflow relative to the size of the filter.
Laboratory furniture can be expensive so one option is to build your workbench out of heavy duty shelving. I used the Workforce 5-Shelf Heavy Duty Steel Shelving from The Home Depot, 72 In. H x 48 In. W x 24 In. D Model #UR-245 Internet/Catalog #100095394 Store SKU # 351430. The Rivet Rack shelving from Tri-Boro Shelving seems to be a pretty good choice as well.
The shelving comes with 2'x4' sheets of particle board, these will need to be reinforced with a variety of sizes of MDF. Choose your own thickness and paint the MDF with a hard enamel paint. Plan ahead because this step will take days, and the fumes are bad for you. So it turns out that the rivets used for the rivet rack style shelving are just about the same size as the head of a #8 wood screw.
So you can use the #8 wood screws to hang the MDF on the sides of the rivet rack. Hold the mdf in the desired position, mark the screw holes, drill starter holes and insert the screws.
The results are great and as an added bonus, hanging the MDF panels actually makes the shelving more stable.
You may want to mount your tools on the MDF while you have the drill handy.
The English language lacks words to properly describe the convenience of having your tools easily accessible and organized.
A rubber mallet is useful for "adjusting" the shelving components for proper fit.
Here you can see the pieces fitting together. The large hole is for the inlet fan and the smaller hole provides power to the workspace.
These wire organizers are awesome.
From below you can see how the power strip and task lighting are mounted. The florescent bulbs can be swapped out with black-light bulbs for extra science.
The lighting is operational and the work space is now mostly assembled.
Next we need to make the connecting rods to join the endcaps so they can hold the air filter in place. The connecting rods are cut from 6061-T6 Round Aluminum tubing, and will be tapped with M4 screws. The tubing has an outside diameter of 0.25" and a wall thickness of 0.065". The ones I needed were 119mm long, yours may not be.
Using whatever tools you have handy, drill the ends of the rods with a 3.3mm drill bit or a #30 drill bit. A lathe is a great tool for drilling the holes cleanly.
Next tap each end with an M4 tap. This is probably not the best way to do this, but it worked and thats what matters. Your luck may vary.
Attach the RadioShack fan to the MDF using #6 (or equivalent) wood screws.
Attach the open endcap to the fan using nuts and M3 screws with countersink heads, #4-40 screws can probably also be made to work.
Cleanroom inlet fan is now installed. The fan creates a positive pressure inside the workspace with keeps dirty air from sneaking in. The filter should block dust and other small particles from entering. Further testing may show that a gasket is needed to ensure proper performance.
Next, find or buy an extra extension cord.
Chop off the end of the extension cord and strip the wires.
Connect the extension cord wire to the fan using wire nuts. If you are afraid of electricity or under 18 years old, find some who knows how to get electrocuted to help you.
Here is what the fan looks like from inside the work area. I should probably find some mesh to put over the hole at some point.
I used a clear plastic shower curtain to test things, but the shrink film for window insulation might work even better since it will be almost completely transparent. In this design you just reach under the curtain to perform science or extreme disassembly.
Here is the view from inside the "cleanroom", looking out.
The shower curtain isn't great but it looks usable in a pinch.
Blue painters tape seems like a good choice for temporarily sealing large gaps. Remember the clean room does not need to be air tight, it needs to have a positive pressure. So wherever there is a gap the air should be flowing out.
If anyone knows any easy ways to test the quality of cleanroom please let me know. So, now that the cleanroom workspace has been built, I wonder what it will be used for?
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