Papercraft Spectrometer Intro Kit
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After a few years, we're returning to one of our oldest kits to update and improve it, building on lots of community-contributed ideas, improvements, and refinements. This page collects resources, questions and activities related to the design. **Already assembled your Papercraft Spectrometer? Visit [SpectralWorkbench.org](SpectralWorkbench.org) to get started on recording and analyzing spectra.** ## Quick start To get started assembling your spectrometer, try: Assemble your spectrometer or Get a kit The first link also includes the design files for printing. ## Intro This introductory kit has been co-designed by [hundreds of contributors](/contributors/spectrometry) as an entry point to Public Lab's [collection of Do-It-Yourself spectrometry projects](/wiki/spectrometry). Read about more on that page about what spectrometry is for, what we can do, and what its limitations are. **** ## Design goals Our goals were: - more rigid/robust - printable on non-black paper - easier to cut out with just scissors - put more of the instructions on the object itself, [like on the Antikythera Mechanism](https://publiclab.org/notes/warren/05-04-2016/tweaks-to-foldable-mini-spectrometer-design) Keep in mind -- this is the "introductory" design intended to onboard newcomers to the project, so we're trying to make it as easy as possible to build. Once you've made this, you're ready to move on to more complex projects, like [scanning, sample preparation, and more robust designs](/wiki/spectrometry). We haven't gotten all the way there on every goal -- we'd hoped to [make a version that required no glue](https://www.instagram.com/p/BTg-ixkguxq/) -- just locking tabs -- but we just couldn't keep it small enough to be printed on a folded-in-half letter sheet. See [this note](https://publiclab.org/notes/warren/05-04-2016/tweaks-to-foldable-mini-spectrometer-design), [this](https://publiclab.org/notes/warren/07-06-2017/scissors-only-build-of-wider-papercraft-spectrometer), and [some of these photos](https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/papercraftspec/) for my process of integrating all these changes, and see [this page](https://publiclab.org/contributors/spectrometry) for some of the many many people who've contributed. See the [previous version of this kit here](/foldable-spec). [![Screenshot_2017-11-30_at_12.50.12_PM.png](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/676/large/Screenshot_2017-11-30_at_12.50.12_PM.png)](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/676/original/Screenshot_2017-11-30_at_12.50.12_PM.png) **** ## Activities [activities:papercraft-spec] ## Questions This section is for questions about the **Papercraft and Foldable Spectrometry Kits**, specifically. For questions about spectrometry in general, [see this FAQ](/wiki/spectrometry#Frequently+Asked+Questions). [questions:foldable-spec] **** ## Get involved in the next revision Have you made improvements to the kit? Share them as [an upgrade](#Upgrades) and we may get in touch to integrate your changes into the kit itself. **** ## Challenges Once you've gotten a solid footing with some of the above activities, try tackling one of these unsolved challenges to advance our collaborative work: [questions:spectrometry-challenge] ### Upgrades Have you added to your starter kit, improved it, redesigned it, or solved one of the above challenges? Show others how to take it to the next level by posting a build guide here: [upgrades:foldable-spec] Add your upgrade guide here Request or propose an upgrade _Upgrades should include a parts list and a step-by-step construction guide with photo documentation. See an example._ ## Limitations and next steps The resolution and stability (ability to hold a [wavelength calibration](/wiki/spectral-workbench-calibration)) of the spectrometer depend on how carefully you construct and store it. This kit is designed to be **easy to assemble**, and is not focused on precision or highly consistent measurements; it’s made of paper, and will crush if you put it in your pocket -- but it can be made out of easy-to-find materials and assembled in ~15 minutes. For a more rigid, robust device intended for more advanced work, check out the [Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit](https://publiclab.org/wiki/desktop-spectrometry-kit-3-0). To improve it, see the related [upgrades](#Upgrades) and feel free to post your own improvements there. Most digital cameras can record light in the visible range, ~400-700 nanometers, so this determines the range of your device. The resolution is mainly limited by the resolution of the camera (and its focus!) and less by the narrowness of the slit -- but measurements should be possible at better than 3 nanometers per pixel. ## Photos [![OI000118.jpg](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/685/large/OI000118.jpg)](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/685/original/OI000118.jpg) [![IMG_20171130_141345.jpg](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/683/large/IMG_20171130_141345.jpg)](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/683/original/IMG_20171130_141345.jpg) [![OI000117.jpg](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/684/large/OI000117.jpg)](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/684/original/OI000117.jpg) [![OI000113.jpg](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/686/large/OI000113.jpg)](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/686/original/OI000113.jpg) [![OI000109.jpg](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/687/large/OI000109.jpg)](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/687/original/OI000109.jpg) [![IMG_20170706_151152_456.jpg](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/688/large/IMG_20170706_151152_456.jpg)](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/688/original/IMG_20170706_151152_456.jpg) [![IMG_20170706_150656_876.jpg](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/689/large/IMG_20170706_150656_876.jpg)](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/689/original/IMG_20170706_150656_876.jpg) ...


Author Comment Last activity Moderation
amocorro "@deeptalaxmibharadwaj wow! Thanks for documenting your concerns and showing the Public Lab community your process. I love that you went outside you..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
G33K4P00RV4 "Thanks! " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "No problem -- i guess, so for example, I'm not sure if red ink shows up on black paper, but we use colored ink (red, blue) on brown paper when we m..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
G33K4P00RV4 "Yes, I was referring to the spectrometer. Non black ink on non black paper. Sorry if I was a little unspecific. This is my first time doing anythin..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "I bet this is in reference to the papercraft spectrometer: http://publiclab.org/paper-spec But do you mean using black paper or using non black in..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
stef "Depends what you're printing. Can you be more specific? " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "We're starting to compile a lot of different sensors and testing methods here -- could be of help! https://publiclab.org/wiki/water-sensors " | Read more » about 5 years ago
xose "Hi there! I've been trying to use the spectralworkbench with IOS with no success using Browser app. That web browser is suupposed to use WebRTC but..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
warren "On iOS, there is the Bowser browser, which I've heard has the correct features to work with Spectral Workbench live recording, but I've never been ..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
liz "There is no iPhone app, or any app, actually! To capture a spectrum with iPhone, use your camera to take a still picture of the spectra and then up..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
liz "Hi @CanfieldC ! It's great to meet you. I was the one who organized what i now understand to be your students' work into https://publiclab.org/note..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
fieldlab "Yes, a good question @warren - possibly not, and I'm not sure how to find out, apart from buying a whole lot of cheap cell phones. I'll keep thinki..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Hmm, interesting! Would a cell phone screen be a really consistent spectrum? I wonder how much variability there is in manufacturing. " | Read more » over 6 years ago
fieldlab "Thanks for your reply @warren. There is pretty good discussion going on about this concept on hackaday for Pb detection in drinking water a la Flin..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Hmm, interesting. I don't know much about paper assays, but this kit available online says: Smallest Increment: Steps: 0, 0.15, 0.3, 1, 1.5, 3 ppm..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
mathew "the cutter works great! I went through similar initial issues, setting the blade lower and not seeing it cut all the way through. I settled on the..." | Read more » over 7 years ago
warren "Cuvette holder! Learning that it's much easier if no parts are left behind on the cutting mat. It makes for much faster turnaround of multiple cuts..." | Read more » over 7 years ago
warren "Tried cutting plastic - the kind that folders are sometimes made of (turns white when creased) and it works ok-- I think three cuts instead of two ..." | Read more » over 7 years ago
warren "More cuts! " | Read more » over 7 years ago
mathew "I love their HTML 5 video stuff in there. really nice. The fold-up GIF is also stellar. " | Read more » almost 8 years ago
warren "Looks amazing. I recently saw some neat ideas for cardboard construction from Nadya Peek and James Coleman, and also was just impressed at their do..." | Read more » almost 8 years ago
mathew "PDFs for images in previous comment. specbox-top-newtab2.pdf spec-box-bottom-newtab2.pdf " | Read more » almost 8 years ago
mathew "a lot of small revisions based on the die-cuttable tabs. " | Read more » almost 8 years ago
mathew "refined the tabs so they are die-cuttable, more refinements after a first round of laser cut versions. I switched to blue fold lines for the laser..." | Read more » almost 8 years ago