Open source microscope without electronic?

Dear all,
does anyone have heard about an open-source microscope which has 400x or 600x magnifying possibilities but which has no electronic in it? The goal is to help a museum acquiring this type of microscope for a new exposition for kids → it should robust ^^
Many thanks!

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I don’t know of any open projects which are doing this. In OpenFlexure we use low cost objectives that we buy for Ali express. You could buy one and an eyepiece and then make a tube to hold them separate by the correct distance:

We have code in the OpenFlexure repository for the objective thread. The hardest thing is you need very good focusing mechanics and good stage translation if you are at high magnification. You could modify the upright OpenFlexure and build it with thumbwheels instead of gears and motors, however this may not be robust enough for kids in a museum.

Do you have any more details such as number of microscopes, types of activities, samples, how they will be used (supervised or unsupervised), why electronic wont work?

I think microscopes never need any electronics…
Sorry, @julianstirling , but i really think for kids, the openFlexure is a bit of an overkill.

the DIY webcam microscope is always success for kids. but it needs a computer, laptop, smartphone to see the image. can be built below 5$. it has great possibilities to adapt to local context, diversity materials from digital fabrication to cardboard and duck-tape, different topics, duration of workshop sessions from 1h to 5 days and a variety educational goals that can be achieved… and used a research tool too!
here an example of a kids workshop (with parents)

Some other people also wrote about their experiences:

And with decent camera modules and sturdy materials you can build stuff that can be placed in an exhibition. adding an all-in-one 2nd hand screen / computer that’s bolted to the wall, autostart linux with camera software.

the laser microscope is also fun! and we love kids playing with strong lasers anyway :slight_smile:

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Thanks @julianstirling and @dusjagr for your inspiration! These look amazing to try! I still like the idea to have one only with optics. I will test something based on an existing microscope connected to a magnifying lens
but I will also investigate the solution with a webcam to have something very simple to use. I also love the one based on laser! This is a very cool one :slight_smile:

Hey @Tanguy, just wanted to add our 2 cents even though the projects being present here are already super nice! :slight_smile:
We have developed the modular microscopy system “UC2” not only for research but also for education. We will bring some of the kits to a local museum soon. It can be 3D printed and adapted to individual needs. Curious? You can have a look at the Documentation for pupils/students here (incl. simple microscopes). You can add cameras, but you can also use them with your eye.

Let me know if you want to know more about it! :slight_smile:

Excerpt from the documentation:


Thanks @beniroquai !
They look amazing and rather simple to build :slight_smile: What is the maximum magnification you can reach with them ? I started to do some test by adapting a lens on a basic microscope I bought for my daugthers

It gives rather good results for a first try. I mostly need to be positionned at the right spot. I probably also need to improve the light. Which type of light do you use ?

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@beniroquai I have some questions regarding the position of the lens and the light source. Do you have some time to discuss these topics ?
When are you available ?
Thanks ! Tanguy