This article provides guidelines on how to request a custom protocol from Opentrons. 

You can submit your request by filling out the Opentrons Custom Protocol Development Request Form.


When you purchase your robot, an email is sent linking to the above form. In order to ensure you receive your protocol by the time your robot arrives in your lab, we highly encourage you to fill this out ASAP. Protocols are developed in the order in which they are received, and if you do not complete your protocol request at least two weeks before your robot is set to ship, we can not guarantee it will arrive before your robot does.


  1. Requests must be possible using Opentrons tools. We do not develop protocols requiring outside software or hardware tools. 

  2. Opentrons protocols are written in Python. If you require something written in a different language, you will have to do this yourself. 

Open Source

Though we will not write software not already supported by our platform for you, we do not limit any of your own development. All of our code is open-source, and you are free to develop custom integrations and software packages yourself.  For more documentation, see and our GitHub.


To ensure timely and accurate development of your protocol, follow these guidelines: 

  1. Number all your steps in the order in which you want them to be executed. 

  2. Be sure to include volumes in micro-liters (ul) for every transfer command. 

  3. Be sure to include starting locations and labware for all of your reagents. 

  4. Make sure you list the specific source locations and destination locations for all commands, i.e. if you want to transfer from the first row of a trough to the first three rows of a 96 well plate, say that explicitly :)

  5. Follow the same format and syntax used for scientific protocols in methods sections.

  6. Include as many details as possible -- if you're not sure if you should include some specific info, it can't hurt to provide it anyways!


  1. Water starts in row 1 of 12 row trough; buffer starts in row 2 of 12 row trough. 

  2. Add 15uL of H2O from trough into 96 well plate wells A3-D3, A4-D4.

  3. Add 10uL of Buffer into 96 well plate wells A1-H1, A2-H2.

  4. Add 8uL of Buffer into 96 well plate wells A3-D3.

  5. Add 5uL of Buffer into 96plate wells A4-D4 and mix. 

Custom Containers

If you need to use a piece of labware that is not already contained in our list of supported labware, you'll require a custom container definition. For us to create this definition, you must do at least one of the following:

  1. Send a link to the product online, along with the product number for the labware you want to use.

  2. Send a technical drawing for the labware you want to use specifying all key dimensions.

  3. Ship us a physical sample of the labware you need a container so we can measure it.

Note: Use the file upload tool in our survey to get us this information as quickly as possible!


  1. If using a multichannel pipette, the wells of the labware must have a minimum diameter of 8mm at the lip of the well. 

  2. If we are going to create a physical rack for you, the size will determine what method we use to construct it. Containers the size of two deck slots can be 3D printed; all larger containers must be laser cut from acrylic. 

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