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Public Lab Research note

Hand-cut or lasercut a simple DIY microscope stage

by warren | April 18, 2018 20:38 18 Apr 20:38 | #16174 | #16174

We're working on simpler and cheaper ways to make good DIY microscopes, working from this @partsandcrafts recommendation -- on this Hackteria page: https://hackteria.org/wiki/Laser-cut_microscopy_stages#LifePatch_DIY_WebCam_Microscope_Stage


Following up on this post, we'd like to use the same shape for both plates to simplify things, and I was able to drill holes in 2 plates of acrylic with a power drill:

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I used a 5/16" bit and a 3/4" paddle bit to cut these, on a drill press, but you could do it with a hand drill too if you clamp things down well.

I also like this because you could do it with wood or masonite as well, pretty easily, although we may ultimately lasercut these.

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Here are the lasercut files, including one we prepared for Ponoko.com, although that ended up being ~$18 per pair of plates, so not at all affordable!

We used 6" long, 1/4"-20 bolts and plastic wingnuts to assemble it, and actually skipped the springs from the above design for simplicity. This worked with just a $3 webcam double-sided-foam-taped to the microscope adapter we're using from the OpenFlexure Microscope project!image description

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And remarkably, we're able to clearly photograph 2 micron wide ruler markings! Faster, cheaper, better, stronger! (well, maybe not stronger)

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