Universal Camera Phone/Microscope Adapter

by ggoss, published

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


  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.

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

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

  8. 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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It looks like user airjustin94 (see your "made" page) made the news with "his" microscope adapter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkcDzUmB__o&t=67s

Comments deleted.

Hello, thanks for the amazing project. We modified your design for our cellphones and microscopes. We are a scientfic educational institution in Asuncion, Paraguay and wrote an article about your project in Spanish. Therfore we are now wondering if we could use your pictures to publish the spanish article on our website to make it available to the teachers and student here?!
Thank you & Greetings
The Benjamin Franklin Science Corner

By all means! Glad to help.

Great idea, thank you for uploading this. We printed it out then we had to modify it because of the hardware we had available and the size of our phone. We also didn't have Sugru so we made channels and applied hot glue into them which is like rubber when cool.

But the actual concept above worked great. We have technicians testing it out at the national children's hospital in the dermatology lab.


Thanks again.

Universal Smart Phone Microscope Mount Remix

Hello Ggoss
Used your design worked very well. I made some modifications to fit my situation.
With the new phones you can zoom 8x and make panorama pictures for high detail big images.
Thanks for sharing

phone microscope adapter


Nice looking adapter.After i made one, I am or will intending to use springs tfor fixing a phone - This for using it in a Classroom for Biology.
the student needs than pulling only the screw.

I designed a remarkably similar thing for telescope eyepieces:

Maybe I shall steal your eyepiece clamp design and integrate it into mine...

Universal telescope eyepiece smartphone mount

Are the dimensions compatible with an iphone 6+?

this also works for telescope eyepieces, thanks for sharing !

im not sure if anyone else has had this problem or not but there seems to be a pretty bad mesh/slice error on the Phone Microscope Adapter Body piece. if you are looking at it in the shape of a T than it is the top right angled support brace thats becoming the issue, i opened it in blender and noticed that there is a bunch of random intersecting polygons on that support brace and the one below it so i attempted to fix that and slicing that proves useless, not sure if anyone else is having this issue but i am so just thought id let you know. great idea though, i plan on using this to mount my phone to a high power telescope,

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

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

Comments deleted.

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

Comments deleted.