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Modified 3D printer is also a great microscope

Modified 3D printer can also be an important microscope

A polarimetric false color image of sugar crystals floating in the water.

Stop by the melting plastic bits, and your average 3D printer is just a handy 3-axis Cartesian motion platform. This makes them useful for all kinds of things and as a [E/S Pronk] shows us that they can easily be converted into an automated polarimetric microscope!

The microscope setup actually took two forms. For one, a regular digital microscope that any of us may be familiar with is a C-mount microscope lens attached to a Raspberry Pi HQ camera. The other is a polarimetric microscope that instead uses an Allied Vision Mako G-508B POL polarimetric POL camera with the same microscope objective. The polarimetric camera takes breathtaking false color images, with the color values ​​corresponding to the polarization of the light reflected from an object. It’s incredibly specialized hardware with a matching price tag, however [E/S Pronk] hopes to be able to build a cheaper DIY version later as well.

3D printers are ideal as microscopes, as they are designed for small, precise movements and can be easily controlled via G-code. We saw that they are also used for other delicate purposes – like this one that has been converted into a soldering robot. Video after the break.