Universal Camera Phone/Microscope Adapter

by ggoss, published

Universal Camera Phone/Microscope Adapter by ggoss Apr 23, 2013


This adapter allows you to securely attach almost any phone to almost any microscope for capturing still images or video, or for use as a digital display.

After several iterations and much testing, I came upon this design. The deep eyepiece clamps allow for focus adjustment, as the optimal distance from a phone camera to a microscope eyepiece can vary. The disconnected eyepiece clamps allow for adjustment to fit a wide range of eyepiece diameters. Lastly, the sliding phone supports allow the adapter to fit a broad range of phones (pictured is a Nexus 4, though larger or smaller phones also fit).

I designed the adapter myself, tested it along with my PI, and borrowed the 'knobby knob' from Thing #26752.

*If you have any questions or requests, feel free to ask!*

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Sorry that it's been more than a few days. I just moved and have been swamped at work lately, so I haven't had the time yet to finish up the revision. Just wanted to let you know that it's a priority and that I didn't forget about you. I plan on uploading a 2 new versions, time permitting:
1. A slight revision, with a less boxy/bulky clamp portion of the design, and a vertically-expandable clamp for greater microscope compatibility. This should come in the next week
2. A complete redesign, easily foldable/collapsible and with a completely different clamp. Not sure when this will be ready, but possibly in the next few weeks.

Sorry, that was me (I guess I forgot to log in). I'll have it up in the next few days for you.

Hi Guest, Is your less bulky design here or should I build ggross' design. Looks pretty functional.

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1. Print copies of each part:
- Print one copy of the adapter body. The non-flipped version will fit the vast majority of phones, but a flipped version is provided just in case. If you are unsure, look at the back of your phone; if your camera is on the left, then use the non-flipped version (e.g. for all Nexus phones, Galaxy-series phones, iPhones, and most others), otherwise, use the flipped version. A file exported directly from OpenSCAD (from the rev4a SCAD file) will have some non-manifold edges, so a corrected STL is also provided (rev4b).
- Print one copy (each) of the outer and inner clamps.
- Print three copies of the sliding support.
- Print five knobs, of either variety. I printed three of the round knobs, and two of the knobby knobs. Bear in mind that the knobby knobs are much easier to tighten (not necessary on the sliding supports).

2. Attach the body to the inner clamp using ABS juice (if the adapter was printed from ABS). In a pinch, epoxy or superglue may be used instead. If your print bed is large enough, you might prefer to print these as one object instead. *If anyone is interested, I will upload an STL with these parts merged together.*

3. Obtain (3) 1.25" #6-32 machine screws, (2) 4" #6-32 machine screws, and (10) #6-32 nuts. My local Home Depot doesn't sell #6-32 screws longer than 2.5" individually, but I did find the 4" ones as part of a set of toggle bolts which I bought for less than 1 USD.

4. Attach each knob to the corresponding screw by sliding the screw through the hole (the hole might need to be drilled out slightly, depending on the calibration of your printer), and threading the nut onto the other end. Using a pair of pliers (on the nut) and a screwdriver, tighten the screw head into the indentation in the knob (a drill might help speed up this process).

5. Drill out the holes in the eyepiece clamps and sliding supports slightly so that the screws can move freely within them. I think I used a 1/8" drill bit for this.

5. Placing each remaining nut into the corresponding nut trap, assemble the remaining parts as shown in the pictures.

6. If desired, add Sugru (moldable silicone) to the insides of the eyepiece clamps and sliding supports for better grip.

7. Take some beautiful pictures!

*Tip: if the edges of your images are fuzzy, try loosening the adapter and moving it up and down until they are focused to a hard edge. Tighten.*

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Anonymous on Jun 10, 2013 said:

I have printed it out fine with ABS, just curious to why the adapter and one of the clamps were not printed all in one go.

I'll try it out soon

ggoss on Jul 7, 2013 said:

I didn't have enough space on my bed to print both as one piece. It it'll

ggoss on Apr 23, 2013 said:

If anyone's interested, I'll put together a version with a clamp that's a little less bulky (and that uses less plastic!), and upload it in the next few days.

liv2surf on Dec 4, 2013 said:

Hi Guest, Is your less bulky design here or should I build ggross' design. Looks pretty functional.