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Here is a short guide how to make a microscope for only $1! The first time I made it in the distant 1998, however, this statement is still relevant today!

You will need:

  • a strip of cardboard or paper (21x5cm);
  • transparent duct tape (width 5cm);
  • paper clip;
  • pencil;
  • line;
  • a pair of scissors;
  • a bit of clean water;
  • pipette;
  • any magnifying glass (or DSLR camera + tripod);
  • support for the research object (two dominoesin in my case).

Step 1: Main Frame

For the manufacture of frame you need a strip of cardboard and a clip:

  • prepare a strip of cardboard;
  • fold the cardboard as shown in the photo;
  • fasten the obtained piece with a clip;
  • make 4 triangular slits in cardboard.

Step 2: Duck Tape Glass

Now you'll need to stick a piece of transparent duct tape 5x7cm on the upper part of the frame, so we get the "glass" for the bottom lens of the microscope.


Very important:

  • use only good transparent duct tape;
  • do not touch the sticky side of duct tape;
  • do not wrinkle the duct tape;

Step 3: Water Lens

Now let's create the water lens:

  • install our piece on a firm, level surface;
  • fill dropper of pure water;
  • drip carefully a drop into the center of duct tape;
  • the more drop resembles a hemisphere, the stronger is the microscope!

Step 4: Testing

Well, the microscope is almost ready:

  • gently put under the microscope what you want to see;
  • if necessary, put a stand under the object of study;
  • take a magnifying glass in hand, close one eye and try to focus;
  • if you did everything correctly, you will see the object greatly enlarged!

If you have a DSLR-camera (or just a good camera or even a mobile phone) - you can do a little differently:

  • put the camera above microscope, lens facing down
  • it's important to set the camera on a tripod;
  • go to Live View mode (if you have a DSLR-camera);
  • switch to manual focusing and try to catch the focus;
  • I am sure - you'll be very surprised, when you realize that your microscope works!
  • and you probably guessed that [close-up lenses] work in the same way.

In conclusion, I suggest you a couple of photos taken using our microscope. In the photo - a coin of 10 rubles [link]. As you can see, the lens works (although somewhat blurring, compared with the sharp lens).

Write in the comments that you would like to see through such a microscope and as far as possible I'll try to help you out and upload new pictures! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I work as a teacher of programming since 2012, I have recently completed my PhD thesis in robotics speciality, after which I have enough time ... More »
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