Introduction: DIY X200 Microscope

About: I'm a hobbiest,that love to make and learn new inventions.

Hello ! everyone , have you ever imagined to explore the microscopical world?? I bet most of you would .But the instruments that requited is very expensive.But there is a solution that give decent results which would cost only few bucks.Microscopes use high power lenses in order to make a highly magnified image.Simply if we have a high power lens we can build it. But in normal microscopes the image is focused directly to our eyes.This requires a very complicated lens design. By using a smart phone and a high power lens we can do this in very simple way.It just need to keep the lens in front of your smart phone camera with touching each other.then through the camera you can see the highly magnified image.But in order to observe an specimen steadily we have to build an setup.So lets move on..

Step 1: Preparing the Lens

In this project we use an high power lens, these lenses are very expensive in the market.But we can find them in DVD/CD reader head. Actually they have a high magnification ability in order to read burned data in micro scale.

As Shown in images safely remove the lens from the reader.Even a small scratch would ruin it.

Step 2: Materials and Tools

In this project we gonna use a high power lens which can be found in DVD/CD reader with a smart phone camera , to get an highly magnified image.In the material list I have mentioned a copper clad board .It should'nt

be exactly a copper board ,just required a board to hold the smart phone.Any kind of material could be used .In case of easy to cut and drill i have chosen a copper board.


1. 1/2 inch PVC pipe(about 20 cm)

2. Glass sheet - around 25 cm x 16 cm

3. 2 mm diameter 1' 1/2 inch long nut and bolt

4. Copper clad board or Acrylic

5. A lens from DVD/CD reader

6. Acrylic glue


1. Hack saw

2. Drill(2 mm drill bit)

3. Hot glue gun

Step 3: Phone Holder -1

To get a steady view of the specimen ,we have to the whole setup steady.To do that it we use the copper board to simply fit the smart phone. Dimensions of the board would be just 2 m more than the smart phone in length and width

Step 4: Phone Holder -2

Now we have a board that fits to our smart phone.Next step is to make drill holes to the lens and four screws.Before that I have to explain some thing about the design. The phone holder requires an mechanism to focus the setup perfectly to the observing specimen.To do that I'm gonna use four screws which would make possible to change the distance between lens and specimen.Those screws would placed in four corners of the holder board.

when drilling the hole for the camera take time and perfectly mark the point where the camera lies.

Step 5: Phone Holder-3

After drilling holes its time to place four nuts of the screws bolts in four corners. By using a strong glue place them perfectly aligned with the drilled holes.Make sure not to spill glue over the screw threads.

After placing four nuts its time to place the lens. Before placing the lens clean the rough edges of the drilled hole.Then place the lens on the drilled hole .2 mm drill holes would fit the lens perfectly without dropping.Then glue the lens with tiny bit of glue.This is a very tricky part .Be careful,Other wise tiny misalignment would cause false result.

Now the phone holder is completed

Step 6: Making the Stage

Up to here we a a have completed the holder.So now we need a platform to keep the specimen and then keep the phone holder.I chose an plate of glass for this purpose .It make possible that the specimen can be place directly on the stage while the smart phone can move freely and observe any part of the specimen.This may confuse a little bit but it would be clear in the images.

In order to see through this microscope we need a illumination.To make space for the illumination mechanism I have raised the stage with four PVC pipes cut in to same length about 5 cm.Then we set illumination method under the glass stage.In my case i use an flash light of a phone .It is easy and perfect for this project.I have tried many sources of light ,smart phone flash light gave the best results.

All Right that's all for the structure, lets begin to test this.

Step 7: Operating

Now we have the microscope ready. Lets see how to work with this. first of all we have to balance the phone holder. To do that, by rotating the four screws you are able to change the height of the phone holder. Keep the height for about 2-3 mm roughly balanced . Okay now you have to place the camera of your phone perfectly aligned with the lens on the phone holder.this can be done by turning on the camera app and align until getting a perfect view.

After that we need a specimen to observe.As you can see in the image i have placed 2 onion tissues .Because we have enough space it is possible to place more than one specimen. Then turn on the flash. Now you can slide the phone holder on the glass until camera view show the out focused image of the tissue.the focusing can be done with two screws which are most close the camera.

Step 8: Results

You wont believe the results of this microscope .Its hard to believe that is it possible to have such results with this simple DIY micro scope.Roughly the magnification is about 200x .Here are some samples of the this I've observed.

Step 9: Results- Onion Cells

the cell walls and nucleolus is clearly visible.

Step 10: Results - Cheek Cells

Step 11: Results - Upper Epidermis Layer of a Leaf

Step 12: Results - Blood Cells

Blood cells appear to be red while they clump together . In distributed form they can be seen like small bubbles.

Step 13: Results- Micro Organisms in Dirty Water

I took some water from my back yard pond observed,, I was blown out ... this is my favorite .

That's all for this Friends.. if you have a Question please feel free to comment below..

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