THIS IS NOT MY OWN DESIGN! I am sharing the files from Richard Bowman documented in the public domain in detail here on DocuBricks: http://docubricks.com/viewer.jsp?id=9134926926759813120#brick_909106319 here on github: https://github.com/rwb27/openflexure_microscope, here published: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4941068, and here on Waterscope: http://www.waterscope.org/.
Optomechanics is a crucial part of any microscope; when working at high magnification, it is absolutely crucial to keep the sample steady and to be able to bring it into focus precisely. Accurate motion control is extremely difficult using printed mechanical parts, as good linear motion typically equires tight tolerances and a smooth surface finish. This design for a 3D printed microscope stage uses plastic flexures, meaning its motion is free from friction and vibration. It achieves steps well below 100nm when driven with miniature stepper motors, and is stable to within a few microns over several days. This design aims to minimise both the amount of post-print assembly required, and the number of non-printed parts required - partly to make it as easy as possible to print, and partly to maximise stability; most of the microscope (including all the parts with flexures) prints as a single piece. The majority of the expense is in the Raspberry Pi and its camera module; the design requires only around 100g of plastic and a few nuts, bolts and other parts. The optics module (containing the camera and lens) can be easily swapped out or modified, for example to add epifluorescence or change the magnification.
I ran workshops based on the design, which is highly rewarding. A must try!
OpenSCAD parametric design
Overview and Background
Water analysis DIY tool suitable for education
This tool is part of the WaterScope initiative: http://www.waterscope.org/ and can be used for educational purposes for older students, for hobbyists, at University, for fieldwork and research.
Lesson Plan and Activity
biology, optics, microscopy, 3d printing
This object can both be used to learn how to 3d-print, how to build a microscope, and to use the digital microscope, e.g. to study bacteria: http://www.waterscope.org/bacteria_testing-2/
Bill of Materials
Total bill of materials for this project
Part Quantity Supplier Supplier part number URL
Optics module plastic parts 1
Raspberry Pi Camera Module 1
Camera lens removal tools 1
25mm M3 Hexagon-head screw 3 Anglian Fasteners Limited 6663 www.anglianfasteners.co.uk
M3 Nuts (preferably brass) 3 Anglian Fasteners Limited 11355 www.anglianfasteners.co.uk
M3 Washer 3 Anglian Fasteners Limited 7118 www.anglianfasteners.co.uk
Elastic bands, No. 32 3
Spacer for actuating gear 1
Microscope feet 3
Microscope Body 1
White LED, 3mm diameter, 15 degree beam angle 1 Farnell Element14 1716696
Jumper wires with female header pin connectors 4
Illumination arm and rear foot 1
60 Ohm resistor 1 Farnell Element14 1565328
8mm M3 screws 2 Anglian Fasteners Limited 14315 www.anglianfasteners.co.uk
Sample Clip 2
Raspberry Pi 1
Microscope leg test object 1