The microscope’s invention has helped dramatically with the knowledge of life in the natural and chemical world at the cellular and molecular level. The microscope’s presence and usage have helped promote the curiosity of creative minds, thus pushing the frontiers of knowledge even further. Having a microscope means that one can further develop skills of observation and experimentation.
But the importance of a microscope becomes a distant dream for many people when they realize the cost. The cost of many microscopes used in laboratories and other science centers or research zones is simply beyond the means of many.
People who cannot afford it but want to experiment give up because the amount is beyond them. However, you can improvise and make your microphone right from the comfort of your home. There are several methods you can use to explore the enchanting and microscopic world. This piece is going to explain how you can go about making your own.
By using DIY techniques, you do not need to spend all your funds on trying to get costly lenses. Microscopes make use of high-power lenses for the production of highly-magnified images. That implies that if you can get a good lens, you can construct your own, but that is possible only if you have very specialized skills.
The fortunate thing here is that you can use your smartphone and a high power lens and do not even need to engage in anything complicated. You just need to ensure the lens is fixed right in front of your smartphone’s camera with both in contact. With this arrangement, you will be able to see the image at high magnification. Below are the steps towards making a DIY microscope:
Step 1: Lens Preparation
If you want to use conventional high power lenses, you will discover that they are costly. The cheaper option for you is the CD/DVD reader head. They come with a high magnification that can be interpreted as burned data at the micro-level. You have to carefully detach the lens from the reader because even the tiniest flaw will damage it, so you need to exercise extreme caution here.
Step 2: Get the Tools and Materials Ready
In this project, you will make use of a high-powered lens that can be seen in a CD/DVD reader alongside a smartphone camera for the production of vastly magnified images. You will also need a board that you will use to hold the smartphone in position. The following are the tools and materials that you are going to need for your DIY microscope:
- 0.5-inch PVC pipe of about 20 centimeters in length
- Acrylic or copper-clad board
- Glass sheet of about 16 X 25 centimeters in dimension
- Lens from CD/DVD reader
- Nut and bolt, two millimeters in diameter and 1.5 inches in length, respectively.
- Acrylic glue
Tools needed are as follows:
- Hot glue gun
- Two-millimeter drill bit
- Hack saw
Step 3: Putting the Smart Phone Holder in Place
Remember, for best results; your frame has to be a very steady one. You are going to make use of the copper board to hold the smartphone in position. For a perfect fit, the board’s dimension has to a couple of millimeters than the width and length of the smartphone itself.
You will also need to drill the plate to place the lens in place on the drilled holes carefully. Glue the lens in place with drops of glue. This is a very delicate stage, and putting the glue wrongly or else there will be a misalignment. Once the phone holder is complete, then you are ready to progress to the next level.
Step 4: Getting the Stage Ready
The next thing is for you to prepare the stage on which you will fix the specimen. A plate of glass is usually used for this. You will also need a source of illumination, and for this; you need two pairs of PVC pipes and a flashlight from a smartphone.
Step 5: Operating Your DIY Microscope
Now that you have your whole set up ready, then you can try it out and visualize your specimen. You will have to place the phone camera in perfect alignment with the phone holder’s lens. This can be done by adjusting the camera application until you get the ideal view.
You can start by using onion tissues, the upper epidermis layer from a leaf, or even cheek cells as your specimen, and you will be impressed with the results. Some make use of blood cells for their specimen samples, and you can do so too. You can expect a magnification of about 200 times.
Now you can clearly see that you do not need to spend a considerable fortune as you can make your DIY microscope from the comfort of your home.