Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!


by marroquintoledo, published

Microscopx by marroquintoledo Apr 2, 2018

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Microscopx enhancements the resolving power and the image resolution of a low-cost microscope, using the free software of the SuperScanner project, SuperScanner Software (S3). For that, S3 implements the Fourier Ptychography (FP) imaging technique that combines low-resolution photos of a sample illuminated under different incident angles from below and retrieves the phase information lost during the recording process.

SuperScanner Software is licensed under GPLv2 license.

The printable parts are compatible with the U500X Digital Microscope manufactured by COLEMETER. That microscope has an image resolution of 0.3 MP, a magnification range between 25× and 225× for a display of 72 dpi, a field of view (FoV) between 1 mm and 8.95 mm, and a pixel size of 3,4 µm. With S3 and a NeoPixel illuminator, the new image resolution is 5 MP (16.6 times) and the magnification reaches up to 903 × (72 dpi) (4 times). The FoV is keeps.

The NeoPixel illuminator is composed of three Pixel configurations: Jewel - 7, Ring - 16 and Ring - 26. They are connected as shown in the figure "Wiring Diagram for the NeoPixel Illuminator".

The source files of the printable parts (GPLv2) are FreeCAD files (.FCStd). They are available from here.

Note: Only Linux machines are supported.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:








0.4 mm





  • Wall Thickness: 0.8 mm
  • Top/Bottom Thickness: 0.8 mm


  • Infill Density: 20%


  • Printing Temperature: 230 °C
  • Build Plate Temperature: 70 °C


  • Enable Print Cooling: Yes


  • Generate Support: Yes (only for u-px-gnd-illuminator-cap)

Build Plate Adhesion

  • Brim Width: 7 mm

The NeoPixel Illuminator

Wiring diagram for the NeoPixel illuminator.

Note: Upload the turnpixelon (within S3) sketch to the Arduino for the lighting controlling and inspect it to set a custom lighting sequence.

An 500 Ω resistor is connected between the Arduino and the digital pin 6, and a 16 V; 1,000 µF capacitor is added across the terminal of the 5 V and 2 A power source (external) to protect the Pixels.

The NeoPixel illuminator assembled.

The stage for the sample covering the NeoPixel illuminator.

Make It Works

  1. Download SuperScanner Software and install its dependences.
  2. Power the NeoPixel Illuminator.
  3. Connect the U500X and the Arduino to the PC.
  4. Within the superscanner-software-s3 directory, run the Jupyter Notebook App typing in a terminal:
    jupyter notebook
  5. Go to the new browser window launched (or go to http://localhost:8888).
  6. Open the fp-real-example notebook within the example directory, review it and set up your system.
  7. Run all cells and follow the output of them.

Microscopx during the process of taking photos.

Successive photos of a piece of onion captured under different incident angles. The image resolution for each picture is 640×480 (0.3 MP).

Hi-Res reconstruction using Fourier Ptychography (2560×1920, 5 MP).

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