Introduction: Microscope With LEGO Bricks

About: Maker / Physicist / Science Communicator / se habla español

Hi! Welcome to this project where I will show you how to make your own optical microscope with Lego bricks and different types of lenses. You will learn the basic concepts of optics in a microscope and this will let you discover the micro world and share it with your friends and family.

Step 1: Material

For this project I'm recycling old Lego bricks, lenses from magnifiers and also one microscope objective from and old microscope that I bought for an alternative version.

So, let's start with the material to build your colorful microscope:

  • 2 lenses (these could be recycled from a instant camera, magnifiers, or other lenses.
    They don't have to be the same focal length)
  • Lego bricks of different sizes
  • A ruler (to measure the focal length)

Step 2: Convex and Concave

A microscope is an optical device used to image an object onto the human eye or a camera/video device. The first microscopes consisting of 2 lenses simply produced a larger image of an object under inspection than what the human eye could observe.

In optics, there are two common types of lenses: convex and concave.

Step 3: Optical Array

In a microscope, the lens, placed next to the object to be magnified, is called the objective lens, while the lens held next to the eye is called the eyepiece.
The distance between each lens will be the addition of the focal distance of each lenses. To hold our lenses at this distance we´re going to use LEGO bricks!!!

Step 4: Convex Lens and Focal Distance

A convex lens is thicker in the middle and magnifies things. A concave lens is thinner in the middle and things observed under it appear smaller.

A microscope is made using 2 convex lenses, one in the eyepiece and another closer to the object being observed.

This is why we need 2 lenses to build our microscope. In this case I’m going to use to magnifiers of different focal length.

TIP: If you don’t know the focal distance of your lenses you can find it by just turning up light and focusing this light on a table. You will see the image of your lamp or the light source.

Step 5: Let's Play

This will be the body of our microscope.

The nice thing of working with this material is that we can change the length between the 2 lenses easily so we can try different configurations changing the lenses. That is the reason I decided to use Lego bricks, so everyone will be able to build a microscope with the lenses they get.

Step 6: Enhancing the Creativity

Here´s an idea to hold your lens.

Let your creativity out to play!

Step 7: Another Version

Also, I recycled an old microscope objective of 10X from and old microscope (all parts are missing). I used one of the magnifier lenses as eyepiece and in the other side the objective lens. In this case the length of my tower is 6 inches.

Step 8: Observed Under a Microscope.

Here are some pictures of a coin as observed under a microscope.

I really hope you liked it and share your microscope built too!

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