I all the time get pleasure from a very good 3D printed DIY mission, whether or not it’s actually useful or simply for enjoyable. These initiatives are even cooler whenever you add Legos into the combination, like Reddit consumer DIY_Maxwell did. He posted about his work utilizing 3D printing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Lego bricks to make an open supply, motorized microscope. However, the microscope itself just isn’t absolutely 3D printed – as a substitute, the physique was constructed with Lego bricks and a few 3D printed parts. What makes this mission extra superior is the cease motion-style video he made displaying the varied elements of the mission and the way all of them match collectively to make a working microscope.
BUILD YOUR OWN MOTORIZED MICROSCOPE utilizing 3D-printing, Lego bricks, Arduino and Raspberry Pi… all design information, supply codes and detailed directions are offered open-source. from r/3Dprinting
“I wished to have a modular microscope, one thing I can simply modify for transmitted-light, reflected-light, cross-section, and so on. My early prototypes didn’t have Legos, as I began making my very own interlocking items, I noticed that I used to be the truth is printing lego-like designs, I believed shopping for legos can be much less of an effort,” he wrote on Reddit when requested why he didn’t 3D print all of the elements. “Then I came upon about these “sliding” lego items, that are very exact for linear actuators. The opposite benefit is that, if I need to change the peak of the digital camera let’s say, I merely add extra bricks, it’s handy.”
DIY_maxwell used FreeCAD to design the 3D printed microscope elements, which had been fabricated on an Ender three system. All the supply codes and design information have been offered open supply on GitHub, together with detailed step-by-step directions on learn how to make your individual.
Earlier than you leap proper in, are you aware what precisely a motorized microscope does when in comparison with an everyday microscope? DIY_maxwell defined that, at the very least for him, it wanted to have the ability to tilt with a view to take pictures, from an angle, of “extremely reflective surfaces (semiconductor chips),” and that it ought to rapidly modify the main focus and magnification, and place of the pattern.
“The microscope has a easy operation precept primarily based on altering the magnification and the main focus by adjusting the relative distances between a digital camera, a single goal lens and a pattern. Briefly, two linear phases with stepper motors are used to regulate these distances for a steady and extensive magnification vary,” the GitHub directions state. “4 further stepper motors tilt the digital camera module and alter the X-Y place and rotation of the pattern. A uniform mild supply illuminates the pattern both from an angle (mirrored mild) or from the underside of the pattern (transmitted mild).”
The primary parts of this modular, motorized microscope embody a Raspberry Pi system, an eight MegaPixel digital camera, six stepper motors, a keyboard or joystick for variable velocity management, uniform illumination, and clearly loads of Lego bricks. Relying on the precise options and electronics distributors used, the entire thing prices between $200-$400, and after you have all of the elements in entrance of you, ought to solely take a few hours to assemble.
The primary physique was constructed with individually-purchased Lego bricks, and DIY_maxwell designed customized actuators and 3D printed them, relatively than utilizing accessible motors and gears from LEGO Technic.
“This method not solely lowered the price of the microscope but in addition gave me some flexibility within the design and implementation of exact linear and rotary actuators. In precept, the entire construction may very well be 3D-printed with out utilizing any LEGO elements however that might be much less modular and extra time consuming,” he writes in GitHub.
As well as, 3D printing gives you the pliability of rapidly altering the design for max optimization if and when it’s wanted.
“If the elements don’t match nicely, some minor modification within the unique design file (e.g. enlarging the holes matching to LEGO studs) or sprucing/drilling could also be required,” he defined.
The contents of the motorized microscope are as follows:
Digital camera Module
You will discover detailed directions, pictures, slicer settings, ideas, and extra on GitHub, and an extended model of the meeting video may be seen right here.
A number of different Reddit customers who routinely use microscopes associated how impressed they had been in regards to the mission; a geologist talked about that “beginning worth may be wherever between $500 to $1000 for one thing with that form of high quality” when DIY_maxwell stated that his microscope may “simply resolve 10um options.” A pathologist expressed pleasure about “a modular system to motorize widespread non motorized microscopes (Leica, Olympus, and so on.).” Whereas the praise was appreciated by the maker, it was famous that “this microscope just isn’t meant to exchange a lab microscope used for medical evaluation. No dark-field, no fluorescence, no aperture management, it suffers from chromatic aberration and different optical results at excessive magnification, and so on.”
“I hope this prototype persuades different DIY-enthusiasts to develop new designs of microscopes.”
In case you’re inquisitive about utilizing 3D printing to make your individual microscope, you’ll be able to take a look at all the related info on GitHub to construct this one, or take a look at the OpenFlexture Microscope mission on Wikifactory. This was created as “half of the Waterscope initiative, which by permitting for quick and inexpensive on-site bacterial testing of the water high quality in growing areas of the world, helps to deal with the illnesses brought on by unhealthy high quality water consuming.”
The OpenFlexure may be constructed within the classroom and used as an training software for each college students and academics. As a result of the 3D printed microscope stage makes use of plastic flexures, the movement is free from friction and vibration, and the four-bar linkages within the stage may be 3D printed in a single job with no help materials.
You will discover different open supply 3D printable microscopes on Thingiverse as nicely; pleased making!
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