The Instrument Design & Fabrication group listens to Janelia researchers to learn about their needs and to share ideas, and then executes an agreed-upon technical plan. They collaborate with Janelia researchers throughout the process--from concept to completion. The Facility continues to improve its design engineering and manufacturing capability to allow rapid and cost effective delivery of functional solutions.
ID&F provides services to design and build custom apparatus for Janelia researchers. In all cases, the Facility's philosophy is to collaborate closely with the research community to understand the problem to be solved. They believe that the synergy between life science and engineering will bring about next generation solutions. They support the shared use of equipment and software by all interested Janelia researchers. The Facility's services span a broad range of requirements, from the production of individual components that support a researcher's design, to complete system solutions developed in partnership with research.
Some specific fields of development the team has experience with include:
- Data acquisition and analysis
- Machine vision and image processing
- Embedded systems design and programming
- Laser, microscopy, and optical imaging systems engineering
- Custom circuit design
- Novel sensor systems
- Lab automation, robotics and motion control
- Mechanical design, machined and/or fabricated components and assemblies
- Process automation
The Instrument Design & Fabrication Facility has a complete workshop for electronics and machine vision development, data acquisition system design, and control system development, assembly, and testing. The Facility also has a metrology and optics lab, suitable for quality assessments of fabricated parts and systems development for optical microscopy.
The Facility operates a staffed central machine and fabrication shop which utilizes computer numerical control (CNC) machinery with enhanced functions, including wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) and 3D printing capabilities for rapid prototyping. The Facility also supports a satellite machine and fabrication shop that is operated by and for the researchers themselves, after they complete a short training course. This "self-service" capability speeds up many smaller tasks, for those who are comfortable working with the equipment.