We needed an incubator pronto. Proper ones aren’t so expensive but neither are they very complicated, so we thought it would be quicker to make one with all the bits lying around in the workshop.

Basically it’s a box made from insulation board (mind you don’t frazzle your Arduino on the foil) with a perspex door.


Heating comes from an old travel hair dryer switched by a wifi plug, with the temperature monitored by a Tinkerkit thermistor and a bit of Python connecting the two.

Temperature (degrees C) against Time (seconds) (graph by Plotly)

Inside is one of our old standalone linear shaker units that can be lifted in and out. These are basically a board sat on skate bearings running between plastics tracks glued onto a base board. Shaking is driven by a continuous servo coupled to the board by a connecting rod. Really easy!


And that’s all there is to it. It holds temperature really well and provides sufficient mixing. Okay, so it’s not the real thing but with a total cost of  ~£70 and a build time of 2 hours, it’s rather good.