Monthly Archives: May 2011

Putting the Open in OpenPCR


Hi OpenPCR fans!

OpenPCR first came to life last February, and we showed off our first prototype at Maker Faire last May. Those of you following the blog know we designed, refined, and engineered our hearts out. Today, Josh and I are pleased to make the first version of the OpenPCR design docs public. Whether you’re a hardware junkie, circuit board lover, or code addict, we’ve got you covered!

Code, CAD, and Circuits

  • OpenPCR CAD (SolidWorks 2011) for all 100+ components of OpenPCR
  • Eagle files for the OpenPCR Brains circuit board
  • Arduino control software (still being revised)
  • Adobe Air software interface (still being revised)


We also invite you to check out the OpenPCR assembly instructions which come bound and printed with every kit we ship. The cover features beautiful glasswork by Dale Chihuly, and you can read the rest of the story here:

A question for you — What OpenPCR stories would you like to hear? Any components or topics you would like us to write up in detail? Feel free to reply to this post or email us at

Tito and Josh

DNA Fingerprinting Osama Bin Laden

OpenPCR thermal cyclerThis morning I saw several tweets about DNA testing and Osama Bin Laden:

“All I’m sayin is,if they took DNA samples for bin Laden,who did they match it against,& that was one ruddy fast PCR,can I have your machine?” – upulie

“Did they bring PCR machine on the site to confirm Bin Laden’s death?” – seanjeon

The US military used DNA to identify Osama Bin Laden very quickly after he was killed. How? Although we don’t have intimate knowledge of Osama’s DNA identification, here’s one way that OpenPCR could potentially be used in a similar situation.
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