HardwareX (Apr 2022)

A low-cost vibration isolation chamber – Making high precision experiments accessible

  • Håvard Vestad,
  • Martin Steinert

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11
p. e00264


Read online

Mechanical vibrations greatly influence sensitive instruments and experiments, yet they are unavoidable. Commercial solutions that mitigate the transfer of mechanical vibrations into experiments and instruments are often associated with high prices and big footprints and are not readily available for low investment explorative testing, experimenting, and prototyping. In this paper, an open-source design for a vibration isolation chamber is presented that is constructed from readily available components and hardware such as off-the-shelf furniture and honey. An extensive guide on how to construct the simple spring-damper-based passive vibration isolation chamber is presented, and its performance is validated using a high-precision seismic accelerometer. The vibration isolation system consists of steel springs and dashpots made of steel spheres suspended in high viscosity honey. The system resonates at 1.2 Hz and successfully mitigates the transfer of vibrations of frequencies determined to be of critical interest in the 5–20 Hz range. The well-performing system has proven to be an invaluable asset in the laboratory toolbox when sensitive experiments are carried out and has already been used in a multitude of projects. The design is shared so that others may also benefit from this tool.