Print Your Own Microscope
A new 3D microscope design that labs around the world can print at minimal cost
Luke Turner | | Quick Read
Have you ever thought about printing your own microscope? Thanks to a new open-source design from the University of Bath, labs around the world can now use 3D printing to create a fully automated instrument with motorized sample positioning and focus control. Not only is the laboratory-grade microscope simple to use, but it also produces high-quality images and can be customized to suit specific needs.
Commercial microscopes typically cost tens of thousands of dollars – but the new OpenFlexure microscopes cost as little as US$18, which covers the printing materials, camera, and fastening equipment. Those able to spend more can create a higher-end version that includes an objective lens and an embedded Raspberry Pi computer. “We want these microscopes to be used globally in schools, research laboratories, clinics, and people’s homes,” said Joel Collins, the device’s co-creator (1). Over 100 units have already been printed in Tanzania and Kenya (2).