Community Microscope: Pi Kit
The Community Microscope Kit is an introductory Do-It-Yourself microscope made from affordable and easy to find parts. It's based on the LifePatch microscope, the Hackteria microscope, the OpenFlexure Microscope, and @maxliboiron's work at http://CivicLaboratory.nl ( #13503 ), among other sources.
The Pi Kit version comes with a high quality Raspberry Pi camera, preprogrammed to provide streaming video over WiFi -- ideal for a group to use together.
What is a Microscope?
A microscope at its core consists of 4 things being held in place in relationship to each other.
- A light. Most microscopes are designed to shine light through a thin slice of a sample. Because magnification works by spreading out light rays, microscopes need to have dedicated light sources to keep the sample well and evenly lit.
- A sample-holder. The sample is the thing that you're looking at. A microscope needs to be able to hold the sample steady and very close to the lens to keep it in focus. The sample holder should be able to be moved up and down with some precision to focus the image.
- A lens. We shine light through the sample and into the lens. The lens refracts light in a way that magnifies an image. Many microscopes have multiple lenses, but the main lens that provides the primary magnification in a microscope is called an "objective." Many microscope objectives are actually complicated arrangements of multiple lenses, but for our purposes we can treat the objective as a single lens.
- A camera or eyepiece. This is how we actually look at the sample. The refracted light comes out of the lens and hits the camera or eyepiece to create an image.
Public Lab's Kits Initiative is releasing this as a Prototyping Kit. It takes only fifteen minutes to build, and plugs into a smartphone or laptop. It’s a simple but elegant design -- you focus it by tightening the bolts, and the basic version is made from a webcam with its lens flipped upside down.
This kit is great for people who want to get started quickly and experiment with the way their microscope is put together.
Also see the Introductory-level Webcam Kit
Included in the Pi Kit:
- Raspberry Pi Camera
- Raspberry Pi Zero W
- Laser-cut stage with various nuts, screws, and bands to build
- Light source and various clips
- Microscope slides and coverslips
- Instruction sheet
- add on a lens of your choice
So explore, make it your own and consider collaborating with us using the link below to share your feedback.
Get started with overview and Instructions: here