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
liz "Thanks this is great! thank you @mdiego2798 " | Read more » about 2 years ago
bhamster "Oh no worries at all, @mdiego2798, thanks for the photos, they are helpful! Looking forward to seeing the spectra you're getting :smiley: " | Read more » about 2 years ago
mdiego2798 "Of course, sorry I didn't think about that. I just uploaded a couple of pictures of the spectrometer to help. As soon as possible I'll try to uploa..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
bhamster "Very neat, thanks so much for sharing @mdiego2798! Is there any chance you have a picture of the assembled spec? " | Read more » about 2 years ago
WendyJospeh "It is a good effort by you. " | Read more » about 3 years ago
EllenHarri "Wow, Good Project " | Read more » about 3 years ago
warren "And with some small extra tweaks and an extra diagram: foldable-2.0.4.pdf " | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren " foldable-2.0.3.pdf With instructions!!! Almost there. " | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Instructions! Papercraft-Spectr..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Update -- I removed the tab-and-slots, to simplify cutting a bit, and added some instructions on how to cut out the windows with just scissors (thi..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "I also worked on this, which is a bit easier to assemble and can go together without tape or glue, though it takes up more space on the page: http..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
rthalman "Ok, so here are the links to shapeways: Absorption Cell Body:" | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Also see this one: -- though it's not too flesh..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Wow, excellent! You can share a design on Shapeways by clicking "Edit product with this model" in the upper right: Then you can check "Offer for..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
stef "@warren, @rthalman I will share the build details once I get some fotos. The public library operates on a cost recovery system so the cost of the p..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
rthalman "@warren I have the .stl files in the description, you can upload those to Shapeways. In PLA on shapeways the absorption cell body costs $26; the Sp..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Also, is it possible to order this print on Shapeways, do you think? I'd love to get one but don't have a 3d printer. Anyone want to try uploading ..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "This is so exciting to see. @stef, would you be willing to post a response using the "Document your attempt to build this" button above the builds ..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
stef "@rthalman: Hey, I'm not complaining, your design got me going on the 3D printing thing. Insofar as to the Cam temperature, by turning off the autof..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
rthalman "@stef Thanks for trying out my plans. I also found that the slit width that was printed was sub-optimal. I made a narrower slit with aluminum duct ..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
stef "@rthalman, @warren I have replicated the design using the printer in my local library as well as the modification to the Life cam where I removed t..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Yes, that sounds right. I think the remaining issue was that unfortunately it wasn't clear if the RPi camera can be accessed via the browser webcam..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
rthalman "Warren, looking at your post (and specifically the size of the camera you are referring to, you could easily interface that by just attaching it to..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Related question here: " | Read more » about 7 years ago