General rules for module placement

  1. There can only be one of each type of Module on the deck.
  2. All Modules must be positioned such that their cords point toward the outside of the deck (toward the external panels of the robot).
  3. Modules cannot occupy slots in the middle of the deck (Slots 2, 5, 8, 11), only slots on the perimeter of the deck.
  4. Modules which control temperature (Temperature Module and Thermocycler) should be placed as far apart as possible to prevent them from interfering with one another.
  5. Modules which control temperature (Temperature Module and Thermocycler) should not be adjacent to the Magnetic Module because they may heat any neighboring labware at a similar height. Temperature-sensitive reagents should be placed at a distance from modules with a temperature.

Default positions and considerations for Module placement on deck

Default positions of Modules

The Thermocycler sits in slots 7, 8, 10, and 11. This is currently the only position that is supported, in order to ensure that pipettes are able to access all wells of the Thermocycler.

The Temperature Module and Thermocycler should always be placed as far apart from each other as possible to prevent thermal interference between them (Rule 4). If the Thermocycler is in the top left corner then the Temperature Module should be in the bottom right.

Recall that the Magnetic Module should not be adjacent to the Temperature Module or Thermocycler (Rule 5). That leaves two slots open for the magnetic Module which are on the perimeter of the deck (Rule 3): Slot 1 and Slot 9. The Protocol Designer uses Slot 1 as the default position to avoid having samples/reagents directly near the trash.

Changing default locations

You may change the default slot of the Magnetic and Temperature modules to an unsupported slot on the perimeter of the deck (Slots 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 10). The Thermocycler only has one position it can fit in and therefore cannot be moved.

Please keep in mind some additional guidelines:

  • The position of the Temperature Module can be changed, but if the Temperature module and Thermocycler are near each other they may affect each other's temperature. It is up to the user to check if this is the case for their protocol.
  • The position of the Magnetic Module can be changed, but when used with other modules on robot, it is up to the user to determine if this would result in unacceptable heating of liquids on the Magnetic Module due to the operation of the Temperature Module or Thermocycler nearby.

To change the default slot of GEN1 modules you will need to go to Protocol Designer app settings and switch on the Experimental Setting for disabling module placement restrictions. This will mute all Module-related crash and performance guidance in the Protocol Designer. With guidance turned off you will be able to move the GEN1 Temperature and Magnetic Modules to slots on the perimeter of the deck. The Protocol Designer will not give you any feedback on your slot choices so please keep our best practice rules in mind.

Limited access slots and Module-Pipette Crashes

Sometimes placing a Temperature or Magnetic Module on the deck will mean that adjacent slots are not fully accessible to multi channel pipettes. There are two potential orientations in which an 8-Channel can crash by trying to access a slot next to a module. The diagram below illustrates the “North-South” crashes (which can happen in the slots above or below a module), and “East-West” crashes (which can happen in the slots to the left or right of a module).

This chart below shows the different 8-Channel and Module combinations that cause these crashes.

Only if you make a protocol that includes a GEN1 8-Channel pipette and a GEN1 Module, will the Protocol Designer highlight slots where this conflict will occur. You will also be restricted from creating steps in which the GEN1 8-Channel accesses those slots. Note: This includes tip racks. Do not place a tip rack for a GEN1 8-Channel pipette in a slot North or South of a GEN1 Module.

If you turn off Module placement restrictions in the Protocol Designer experimental settings, then the Protocol Designer will not warn you about any potential collisions.

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