A low cost, prototype bench-top system incorporating amplification and optical detection has been developed for use with custom microfluidic cartridges. All parts of the system can be made at a relatively low cost using standard PCB methods to create a resistive heater, laser cutting to create the structural device from 6 layers of black PMMA and 3D printing for microfluidic cartridge fabrication. The system is comparable to commercial qPCR machines, however it exclusively runs isothermal assays. It is a robust system that uses the Arduino platform for thermal control and data acquisition. A low cost photodiode with high gain operational amplifier is used to perform the optical detection. Work is now ongoing to integrate the sample preparation onto this platform.