Foldable Spectrometry Starter Kit

New to [spectrometry](/wiki/spectrometry)? On a budget? Looking for something to introduce a group to spectrometry? You might like to try the **Papercraft Spectrometry Starter Kit**, a simple foldable paper spectrometer which you can attach to a smartphone or webcam. It’s made of paper to reduce cost and complexity, and is mainly intended as a low cost “introductory” or educational kit. ## Get a kit now You can use the PDF in the assembly instructions below or get a kit from the Public Lab store: Get a kit > **Update:** There's an updated version of this design available at [Papercraft Spectrometry Kit](/wiki/paper-spec) **** ## Purpose 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 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]( 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 by the narrowness of the slit -- but measurements should be possible at better than 3 nanometers per pixel. See [limitations and goals](#Limitations+and+Goals) for more. ## Activities [activities: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. ### Upgrades Have you added to your starter kit, improved it, or redesigned it? 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._ **** ## Frequently Asked Questions This section is for questions about the **Foldable Spectrometer Starter Kit**, specifically. For questions about spectrometry in general, [see this FAQ](/wiki/spectrometry#Frequently+Asked+Questions). Ask a question about the foldable spectrometer [notes:question:foldable-spec] **** ## Plans, materials, and what it takes to make one: ### Instructions See [this activity](/notes/abdul/10-19-2016/foldable-paper-spectrometer-instructions) for how to assemble your kit. **** ## Limitations and Goals This starter kit is a great way to begin learning about spectroscopy by building a simple one, but is not meant for quantitative research. Once you’ve mastered it, you can improve it with some of the [hardware mods](/wiki/spectrometry#Hardware+Mods) listed here, or to take it to the next level, see the [Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit](/wiki/desktop-spectrometry-kit-3-0) for a more robust platform to build on. Though it is specifically designed to be an “introductory” kit, there are a number of goals to work towards, and limitations which you can help to overcome in the current design. Intro-level kits play an important role in helping people build the skills they need to join in the project and improve these methods -- in building a large collaborative community around this project. **** ### Help improve it Again, this is a collaboratively designed kit -- help make it better! Some of the goals and challenges we’re still working on with this kit include: * the alignment between the foldable spectrometer and a smartphone or webcam is hard to keep consistent with soft materials like paper * assembly relies on careful gluing or taping -- could we make a glue-less tab-based version that’s still light tight? * the film-printed slit in the starter kit is really nice, but can be hard for someone to make on their own -- some tips on making your own slits would be helpful * a [wider spectrometer](/notes/warren/05-04-2016/tweaks-to-foldable-mini-spectrometer-design) would make a wider spectrum, which would be easier to capture a picture of * comparing spectra with different light sources, or between different devices, is not well explored ...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
sheetrat67 " Eminence, Sheikh Muhammad Kazem Al-Khaqani, Lesson دروس حوزوية " | Read more » about 4 years ago
aminagorge59 "nice post " | Read more » over 4 years ago
stevie "Hi, no worries, we can help you here. Is this the spectrometer you built? or did you build one..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
Nelari "I did just that, four months ago, so that problem has already been solved – but thanks all the same. However, I could not make sense of Spectral Wo..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
Skorex "Hey can u give me measure for this spectrum, please. On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 4:20 AM \<> wrote: Hi! There's been..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
Skorex "Can you cut the bottom side, glowing with rainbow colors? Thank you  On Sat, May 25, 2019 at 6:26 PM \<> wrote: ..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
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Nelari " Thank you; I now have a meter that seems to work OK. I gave up on the paper version, though – it was just too wobbly. I used wood, instead, to get..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
warren " Hi! The bottom side with the purple tint is the one you want. There are some good pictures on these pages:" | Read more » about 5 years ago
bsugar "Hey @Skorex! Sorry for the delay. I'm not sure if you're looking for a measurement of the actual spectrometer that you have photographed, or if y..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
sixtwo_037 "Yes it is possible to redesign it for two Gclub Royal cuvette at one time would just need to widen the area toward the spectrometer and double the ..." | Read more » almost 6 years ago
warren "Hi, @mountevans -- when you go to the graph page after Save, there is a row of buttons for downloading the raw data: For example on this page: h..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
mountevans "I am using that website. I have tried both before and after clicking the "offline" option. During acquisition there are buttons labeled "Save" an..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Yes, there is an exports section below and to the left of the graph with a few download options -- this is for, right? " | Read more » over 6 years ago
Ag8n "Don't know if it will work with the foldable spectrometer or your software. But here is some work done not long ago on the same topic. You can fi..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
UHF "DVDs work better with smaller track separation and therefore greater diffraction. " | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Hi! There are a few posts exploring this question here: ..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
G33K4P00RV4 "Thanks! " | Read more » over 6 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 » over 6 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 » over 6 years ago
31gane "definetely, they are more precisely grated than the CD/DVD grooves (for storage). moreover, with different type of grating, selection has to be man..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "I bet this is in reference to the papercraft spectrometer: But do you mean using black paper or using non black in..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
stef "Depends what you're printing. Can you be more specific? " | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "It would also be really cool to see a design adapted for the Lego Spectrometer! " | Read more » over 6 years ago