OpenFlexure Microscope Beta release

I know many people at GOSH asked about printing the microscope [ @Rachel @Dorry @hikinghack @ryanfobel ] and I told lots of people that it may be good to wait until there were instructions for the newest version due to all the improvements. I am happy to say that we have a new beta release!

The documentation is updated and is here:
The version of the microscope I had at GOSH has been improved further and is now merged into the master branch on github:

We would love to hear about any GOSHers building microscopes. As this is a beta release there may be some issues. Please do report any issues you have (even ones like “this is confusing” or “this broke coming off the print bed”) as it will help us improve the project. You can report issues on github or just reply here.


Just for completeness, I should link to the release itself:


will be doing language translation for this doc into Chinese and Malay, shall I push the translations to github? and is it ok to insert a credit for the translation service being used?

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Hi Saad,
Translations would be great. Inserting a credit for the service is the right thing to do. If you push to GitHub and make a pull request that would be best. Thanks!

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I’m planning to build one or more this year as part of a public engagement project with on of my local Universities Microscopy Department, and one for the [as yet homeless] BioMakerSpace TurbiniaBio

Awesome - do let us know how it goes :slight_smile: Build reports are great for all sorts of reasons (especially community building) so I’d love to see what you build and what you do with it.

will do, one I have a time and place :slight_smile:

@julianstirling or @rbowman I hope I am not doing something obviously wrong here, but the links on github for the stl files seemed to lead me to openscad files not stl. I don’t have a translator for openscad on my commercial CAD system (siemens solid edge). I’ll try installing openscad on my home computer (I cannot install open source/non approved SW at work).

I was looking through your assembly instructions and noted the insertion of the condenser lens into the condenser body seemed to be difficult. Are you using crush ribs (like in an injection molding) to reduce insertion force? I was going to look at the stl file first before I posted (to avoid unnecessary posts) but could not open it …

my bad. downloaded the zip file and it’s all there.
I think I see what you are doing with the lens mount. Are you flexing the triangular thin walled section to minimise the insertion force? Nice. A bit like the circular tube spring on lego bricks.

Incidentally if you have any contrast problems with stray light reflections off the grooved AR detail you can use Blackboard paint as a pretty good substitute for a low reflectivity coating such as Nextel Velvet etc. I believe amateur telescope builders mix wood dust in with the paint, but I have not found this or fine glass beads to be any advantage.


Hi @clivec, it sounds like you’ve mostly solved your own problem, which is excellent! Sorry I didn’t respond before you managed to figure that out. The openflexure microscope hardware repo has been a serious mess for some time, but we have almost sorted it out and moved everything to gitlab (we’ve made the move, just need to reinstate the STL files). Once that’s done (hopefully very soon) I will sort out the various links that exist so they all point to the right place, and I am really hoping the STL files will be much easier to find.

You’re quite right, the lens mount is designed to distort back to circular and thus grip the lens - I have tried using ribs to grip the LED, but I think the slightly triangular gripper works better for the lens.

Blackboard paint is a good tip - black plastic and the ridged tube seem to do a decent job for most purposes, but stray light is a much bigger problem when using fluorescence or reflected-light illumination, so I’ll bear that one in mind.

Do let us know how your build goes, if you’re planning one!