The DIY smartphone MICROSCOPE: Turn your mobile into a piece of expert kit using a block of wood and a laser pointer
A video shows how users can make a microscope with 175x magnification for under $10 that is built for an iPhone
The home-made microscope can be made in just 20 minutes with some basic DIY skills, according to crafing website Instructables
Using the rig, the smartphone can take photos of things as small as the nuclei of plant cells
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Smartphone cameras are getting more advanced all the time, but now a DIY fan has revealed how crafty iPhone owners can make a microscope for their handset for under $10.
Using a block of wood, some plexiglass and the lens from a laser pointer, a video shows how users can make a microscope with 175x magnification for an iPhone.
Once the project is completed, the smartphone can be used to take photos of things as small as the nuclei of plant cells as well as for macro photography projects.
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One crafty DIY fan has revealed how to make a microscope for an iPhone using a few nuts and bolts, a piece of wood and plexiglass plus a torch and a lens taken from a laser pointer
According to crafting website , the DIY microscope can be made in just 20 minutes and costs under $10, excluding the price of the smartphone.
The lens for the microscope comes from a cheap laser pointer and the website explains how it can be freed from its casing and placed in the correct way against the camera lens of the iPhone using a hairpin.
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It is this lens that creates the larger field of view and can itself be used to take macro shots of insects, for example, just pressed against the phone’s camera lens.
The lens for the microscope (pictured) comes from a cheap laser pointer and Instructables explains how it can be placed in the correct way againt the camera lens of the iPhone using a hairpin. It is this lens that creates the larger field of view and can itself be used to take macro shots just pressed to the phone’s camera lens
However, to create the microscope, a ‘rig’ must be built to keep the phone steady and it is made from a sheet of plywood for a base and a couple of pieces of plexiglass to make the camera stage as well as the place to put the specimens.
They are held in the correct position by carriage bolts and wing nuts.
The assembly of the rig requires basic DIY skills, including the use of a drill, as well as a few nuts and bolts.
A hole must be drilled in the camera stage just large enough for the lens to sit in and it is vital it is as close as possible to the camera.
According to Yoshinok, who penned the original how-to, plants cells can be seen really clearly under the home-made microscope. This is an image of red onion cells taken using an iPhone 4S with the DIY microscope attachment
Another hole is made directly below the lens for the light source – a small torch or LED light – and then the drilled components can be assembled into the final rig.
Full instructions of how to put the rig together as well as the dimensions of components are available on the website.
According to Yoshinok, who penned the original how-to and lives in Iowa, plants cells can be seen very clearly under the DIY microscope.
The website claims these simple parts costing under $10 are all that is needed to create the microscope – as well as 20 minutes of spare time, some DIY know-how and the smartphone