Universal Microscope Phone Adapter

by cswaim, published

Universal Microscope Phone Adapter by cswaim Mar 10, 2013
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This adapter allows you to connect most any phone to most any eyepiece. Like a microscope, telescope, etc!

I am always working on new stuff to print. If you interested in being the first to know when I release something new, then check out http://arsenalproducts.wordpress.com/be-the-first-to-know. 3D printing goodness!


Parts List:

Qty 6: 4-40 x 1/2 Socket Head Cap Screw (McMaster 92196A110)

Qty 1: 2.5" x 1/4" OD Spring (McMaster 9657K171)

Qty 1: 1/4" x 1-3/8" Clevis Pin (McMaster 97245A242)

Qty 1: 1/16" Cotter Pin (McMaster 98335A044)

Qty 1: .56" Dia x .063" wire x 120 deg Torsion Spring (McMaster 9271K641)

If you do not want to buy the quantities above from McMaster (~$50 total) I have plenty of leftovers and can send them to you for $10 + actual shipping. If you are interested, you can reach me at [email protected]

To assemble:

1) Screw the left cap onto the left slide and the right cap onto the right slide. It really helps to start the screws a few turns in each of the holes first then take them back out and assemble the two parts.

2) The recess down the center of the right slide has to fit over the square piece of material underneath the left slide. After the right slide is over the square piece of material the two pieces can slide together.

3) Feed the spring through the hole in the bottom of the right slide (BE CAREFUL! Wear some glasses so the spring doesn't shoot out and hit you in the eye!! You think it won't happen, but it will)

4) Load the celvis pin through the bushing then screw the bushing to the bottom of the right slide.

5) Next put the 2 clips together to install the torsion spring.

6) This is by far the most difficult part of the assy process and once again, BE CAREFUL! Wear some glasses so the spring doesn't shoot out and hit you in the eye!! You think it won't happen, but it will... Squeeze the long arms of the torsion spring together and insert inside the back of the clips (it way help to wear some time of gloves because the ends of the springs can be sharp). While you are still holding the ends of the spring, take the slide assembly and place the clevis pin through the larger hole on the top side of the clips, thru the spring and thru the small hole on the bottom side of the clips.

7) Once the clevis pin is thru the bottom hole of the clip then put the cotter pin thru the small hole at the end of the clevis pin.

8) You will need to trim the ends of the spring with a diagonal cutter. Trim them short enough that you will not cut yourself on the trimmed ends when using the device.

One thing to note is that these holes were sized to work well on my printer . You may need to make the holes larger if the resolution on your printer is different. The clips should move very smoothly otherwise they will not grip the eyepiece very well. These were printed on a printer with support but were designed to work on a printer without support. Let me know if there are any issues.

You can see other projects of mine at arsenalproducts.com.

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I really loved this print, it is one of the most useful things I have ever seen printed with the 3d printers. It really improves the laboratory experience for students, and is a great teaching tool! We printed out dozens of these for use in our Biology labs, unfortunately most of the larger phones these days will not fit. Any plans to edit the file to be able to accommodate the wider style phones?

Thanks for the feedback! I've only checked it with the iPhone 6 which fit's with mine here. What phone are you using that doesn't work. I'd be happy to design around it!

I also had Problems to fit a Samsung S6 in the Adapter.
Seccond Problem is that my hardware store didn't sell the metal parts from your list.
I used stronger springs. This caused problems whit durability.
Would you put in the construction files from openscad? So i would be able to adapt your construction to my demands.
I also had designed a small part which fits between the clamps so you can use a wing nut without breaking the parts if you tighten the nut.

Thank you for the quick response. My phone works (barely), it is a Samsung Galaxy S5. The width is 2.85 inches. I think that any phone that is larger than this would not work. I will talk to some students and find out which models are too large to work and get back to you.


Probably should have scaled my parts up a bit printing at .1mm; the holes were consistently small and required some serious filing. Works like a charm though! I made a short demo vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGy1q8JeopI

Received the parts, and assembled in about 20 minutes. The hardest part was the torsion spring. The weather is not cooperating, but I look forward to using it soon.Great design, thanks cswaim!

Update! I have parts back in stock if you would like screws, springs and pins to assemble this scope adapter.

Should it be printed with support and what percentage fill?

It shouldn't need to be printed with support with components oriented properly. I'm not sure about % fill. My printer does not have that option.

Just wanted to leave another comment saying how great this item has been - I made 2 for my lab and they are both still in use over a year later. We also purchased a similar product that was marketed as providing the same function but it was total junk - this has been one of the most useful 3D prints I have ever completed!

You are correct, they should be printed flat. It would make sense that if you printed it on edge as shown that it would break. Sorry for the issues. Let me know if you are still having trouble after printing flat.

I've printed one of these and the cell phone holder is great but I am having trouble with the narrow sides of the clip breaking in use. I notice you had everything in the STL files oriented on it's edge. I flipped everything flat to make it easier to print. Is this the mistake I am making or is it something else I am doing wrong?

I just finished printing all the parts for this, the holes were almost close enough to not need any further machining, but I went through with some tools anyway. Waiting on the pin and a spring, can't wait to try it out though. One question - how did you work out your positioning so that the camera lens is the correct distance from the eyepiece? Really solidly designed (and printable) parts though, well done.

AMAZING JOB! This can be so handy in the lab

Thanks! Let me know how it works for you? What else do you need in the lab?