The ChromQ Light Chamber is a 3D-printed imaging measurement system used to quantify results of nutrient deficiency. For our current project, it is also used to quickly and inexpensively measure relative protein degradation through quantification of the color in chromoprotein expression.


One of the most critical variables in imaging today is the consistency of light. Different wavelengths, intensity, power, wattage, and even angling of lights can affect the result of camera imaging. To this end, the ChromQ Light Chamber is designed to control for the variable of light. The box’s dimensions are 12” x 12” x 12” and feature four mini LED-bulbs at 0.6 Watts each with a power source of 3 Volts. Each LED light is positioned 7” down from the top, 45° below the horizontal, one on each side of the chamber, excluding the top and the bottom. The combination of the four lights creates a spotlight that will focus on the specimen being imaged. The top features a circular 2”-diameter cut-out that provides an opening for camera lens to image. The bottom of the chamber is left open in order to properly accommodate and shift any reasonably-sized and –shaped specimen that will be illuminated and imaged with the chamber. The dimensions have been optimized for ideal imaging distance and lighting amount.

On-Site Application

Current methods of testing for nutrient deficiency are incredibly time-consuming and require a plethora of steps. Specimens gathered on site must be sent overseas for testing and the results are returned weeks and even months later. For areas that urgently need immediate care, this lengthy result turn-around time could cost dozens of lives. To solve this pressing issue, the 3D-printed ChromQ Light Chamber is designed to be easily assembled and then taken apart, much like building with Lego pieces. This aspect was created for ease of transportation, as well as ability to be used in the field as part of on-site testing and data collection. Researchers and healthcare providers can simply use the chamber to test for nutrient deficiency at the location of examination and obtain immediate results without having to send specimens to labs overseas. The increase in efficiency revolutionizes the future of point-of-care treatment.


As a high school lab, one of the many problems we face in research is the lack of funding and monetary support. Sophisticated equipment is incredibly expensive, and so it is very hard to afford the necessary tools and measurement systems for our research. The ChromQ Light Chamber is designed to conquer the issue of the cost of a fluorimeter – instead of visualizing with fluorescence, the project uses chromoproteins, which can then be imaged with the chamber we built, and results can be obtained that way. This technology can be used by other teams and facilities for their research, and the full plan of the design is available below so that any team can build it themselves.

Build Guide


1. 3D Printer (Build Area of at least 7 x 7 x 8in)
2. Super Glue
3. Sanding tools
4. Non-Reflective Spray Paint(Optional)


1. All the STL files included within the file(5 Pieces).
2. LED Lights(At least 4 LED bulbs)
3. Camera


For best results, print at a slow speed to ensure the best outcome possible and make sure the 3D printer is tuned correctly. Print each of the Parts at any desired infill percentage and layer height. Also, it’s recommended to print with brims so it does not curl when printing. If need be, the SLDPRT versions are included in the file.


1. Transfer all the STL files into preferred slicing software.
2. Change settings accordingly to the printer.
3. Orient the parts where it will create the least amount of support for best results.
4. Convert it into GCODE files.
5. Transfer the GCODE files into preferred printing software.
6. Start Printing. Print 4 copies of Parts 1, 3, 4, and 5. Print 5 copies of Part 2.

7. Carefully remove the prints.
8. Sand any defects and remove support materials on the prints.
9. Test that all parts fit correctly.
10. Lightly sand the connecting surfaces for each piece for the best adhesion.
11. Arrange the 4 prints of Part 1 into a square and glue them.

12. Insert 4 prints of Part 2 onto its designated location and glue them.

13. Connect Part 5 on top of Part 4 and glue them.

14. Repeat Step 13 for 3 more times.

15. Arrange 2 of the 4 Parts side by side and glue them along with the last Part 2 print.

16. Repeat the rest as mentioned in Step 15 and glue them to the Part created in Step 15.

17. Place the Assembly created in Step 16 onto the Assembly created in Step 12 and glue them all together.

18. Insert the 4 prints of Part 3 into the 4 holes of the side of the box and glue them.

19. Insert the LED lights into the holes present in the Part 3 prints. (LED lights: 0.6 Watts, 20mA current; solder into series circuit with 2 9-volt batteries)

20. If needed, spray some non-reflective paint inside the box to seal and block out light, for best results spray several coats.

*Note: If you are interested in 3D-printing the ChromQ Light Chamber, please contact us at for the program print files.


Dhakar, L. (n.d.). Image Color Picker (Z. A., Ed.). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from

Purple color codes. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from

RGB Color Gradient Maker. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from

Tamura, K., Shimada, T., Ono, E., Tanaka, Y., Nagatani, A., Higashi, S., . . . Hara-Nishimura, I. (2003, September). Why green fluorescent fusion proteins have not been observed in the vacuoles of higher plants. The Plant Journal, 35(4), 545-555. doi:10.1046/j.1365-313X.2003.01822.x


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