How to Make a Simple Smartphone Microscope #CitizenScience #3dprinting #science #DIY

Smartphone with 3D printed microscope attachment

There’s nothing like a compact, inexpensive solution when you are out in the field, and this microscope for a phone is the perfect attachment. The device posted on Digital Trends was created by ARC Center of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, Australia. It has an impressive range for its size.

The 3D-printable device can be attached to most smartphones to turn it into a fully functional microscope, strong enough to visualize specimens as small as a two-hundredth of a millimeter. That means it can be used to view microscopic organisms and blood cells, making it potentially useful for testing water cleanliness and analyzing blood samples.

A separate camera phone lens is held in place through friction fit within the 3D printed clip. The real magic is the tunnel inside the clip which captures the light from the flash and brings it where it is needed through the sample. Researchers have already had success viewing plant and mammalian cells, so this is going to create excitement for citizen scientists. It’s a great setup, and the best part is the 3D print files and notes are available for anyone to use. If you want a handy microscope for checking out PCBs at home, we’ve got the perfect illuminated USB microscope. In fact, you’ve probably seen it on our “Ask an Engineer” show for those amazing close-up shots. Want to know where that drop of solder went or what that part number is? A microscope can be your new friend.

USB Microscope


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