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:


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, 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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I did this Help out by offering feedback!

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Getting someone else to cut the material on behalf of the laser is not costly if it is only once or twice. But once the number of times, then it is cost-effective to buy their own laser engraving machine. I purchased a 60w laser engraver from OMTech in order to be able to cut the material I wanted at any time. It's very useful when making small projects like this.

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