Everything together & outcome (photos !!!)

Here we are ! The microscope is done and you can modify it as much as you want (and improve it in the same way) ;)

Here are all the different parts of the microscope :



One way to assemble the microscope :


And here are photos taken with a phone through our microscope :D



You can even zoom !


If you want to know more about microscopy, check this website : http://www.explainthatstuff.com/microscopes.html

The Phone/Camera holder

And this is already the last part left to design. We went for two models : a phone and a camera holding model giving the possibility to switch from one to the other easily.


portephone1 This is the drawing of our phone holder


portephone2 This is the drawing of our camera holder

The lens holder

This part was the trickiest since we decided to go with a huge 60mm glass lens with a low magnifying capacity. But all this struggling led us to use a laser lens and a new way of fixing lenses. Giving all meaning to the "Puzzled scope" since you can switch from one lens to another one and set the right focal distance to see the sample. Indeed, in order to magnify something, you need to have two lenses (an objectif and an occular). Each lens has some intrinsec properties such as the focal distance (linked to the curve of the lens) and you have to play with the combination of lenses to actually see magnified things under your microscope.

porte-lentille Vectorial drawing of the big lens holder. You can also see two "regulators" that can minimize the diameter of the hole and hold smaller lenses but it failed so we moved on our second design.


porte-lentille  Vectorial drawings of the second design of the lens holder


You can see the different sized holes for the different lenses.

The sample slide holder

This part is really easy since we decided to use regular sample slides for microscope. If you don't know what I mean, it is a 76mm x 26mm rectangle made of transparent glass. To hold it, we designed this piece :

porte-lame Vectorial drawing of our sample holder


The rectangle in the middle is smaller than sample slide. With this setup, the sample can be moved but it's not really stable. We have to think about another method combining flexibility (moving around with your sample) and stability (dropping your sample off the holder is lame) :)

The support and the light

As you might know, in order to have a good microscope, you first need to have a steady base. That way, your "column-sight" eye->phone->lens->sample will not be shacky. You also need to have a source of light since photonic microscopy is based upon the fact that photons (transmitted or reflected) by your sample will excite your photosensitive cells of your retina, sending neural impulses to your brain making you "seeing" the object. That's why we designed this piece under Inkscape and used CoreIdraw to lasercut it afterward.

drawing2 This is the vectorial drawing of our base

vectorial drawing of our base

The two small holes are fixing two threaded rods of diameter 8mm and the hole in the middle is supposed to let the light get through. But it wasn't steady enough (especially because of the lamp we were using) that's why we decided to consolidate with a second base and making a holder for the lamp.

drawing3 Vectorial drawing of the second base/light holder


As you can see the middle hole is slightly smaller than in the drawing2 fixing the lamp for once and for all ! :) For the build, drawing2 is on top of drawing3.

We had a last problem to tackle considering the light... the lamp was too powerful. That's why we thought of adding a diaphragm (the same as in a camera) to regulate the amount of light. But it didn't succeed very well and we didn't have the time to think about it so we are using a blank paper right now to have a diffused light. But here are the 3D printed diaphragm plans found on Thingiverse.com.

Time to start the sample holder !



Core idea & digressions

The instructions were : "Build a microscope under 3€, no restrictions except this one." 

And here start the digression (yeah... it wasn't long to wait for).

We didn't really know where to go, and first we wanted to make a microscope based upon water lenses made out of water drops being held in suspension thanks to an induced magnetic field... But it isn't stable enough, the evaporation is a problem to tackle and the building price will definitely be exceeded.  We decided to abandon this idea (maybe it'll come back later ;) ). After changeing our minds several times, we decided to go for a more common design of DIY microscope. Here is our first drawing.

1st drawing of our microscope
As you can see, there is four main parts in our microscope. We are going to present how we built it step by step. First, we will show you how we designed the support and the light. Then the sample slide. We willpresent you all the struggles we had with the lens and at the end we'll explain the phone holder and the assembling of those different parts.
To summarize quickly :
1/ Support and Light
2/ Sample slide
3/ Lens slide
4/ Phone holder