I spent quite a bit of time during my college career in chemistry and electronics classes, but when I think back on the most influential aspect of my education, it was my physics classes that shaped my understanding of the world more than any of the others. There was something very “pure” about the process of isolating the variables necessary to describe a mechanical event or electromagnetic interaction. These numbers fit together like pieces of a puzzle until, all at once, the answer emerged. This concept of manipulating what was available to create what was needed seems to permeate much of our work at Texray and KS Analytical Systems and it’s the most satisfying part of it for me. We’re frequently approached with problems that require a custom solution.
Much of the custom work we do revolves around holding samples in various form while they’re being analyzed, but recently we’ve had a few projects more centered around improving processes which have been interesting. For our own lab, this might mean custom racks to keep tools organized and clean, sample tools to help us avoid cross-contamination or fixtures to aid in the safe handling of some of our more expensive apparatus. We just completed a project that I found interesting for a client in CA who is running seal-cell experiments which needed to be held secure to various working surfaces. The original method involved bolting them in place each time which proved time-consuming as volume increased. The answer was a relatively simple adapter plate designed by the client which needed a little design refinement and some basic fabrication.
The project started with basic drawings so the first step was a few prototypes in acrylic plastic courtesy of the laser cutter. Small changes were made until it was ready for an Aluminum version. Here it is in action!