Build a USB Digital Microscope in 60min and 15$




How to turn a 10$ microscope and a 5$ USB camera into a cool digital microscope in 60 minuets.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Disassmble Any USB Simple Webcab

Just remove any screws and plastic cover that is not needed.
This webcam cost me 5$ - very simple low resolution web cam.

Step 2: Place Hot-glue Over the Electronic Side of the Camera So It Won't Get Damaged.

Place hot-glue over the electronic side of the camera so it won't get damaged.

Step 3: Remove the Insolation From the Cable & Add a Red and White Wire.

Use a cutter or a small knife to remove the insulation (BE VERY CAREFUL - DO NOT CUT YOURSELF!)
Cut the red and black wires and reveal the copper wiring .
Connect two additional extensions for these cables (5V DC) and solder the red together and the blacks together (not red to black!)

Step 4: White LED Connection

connect a 50 to 330 Ohm resistor to the red wire and the other side to the long LED line .
Then connect the black wire to the short LED lead.

Step 5: Connect the White LED

1. Solder the LED lines , connected and insulate with electric tape.
Remove the mirro from the bottom and connect a toothpick to the two holes that remain.
connect the LED to the toothpick with hot-glue.

Step 6: Connect the Camera

while you view the image via the SW used for the webcam - position it so you get a clear image . you may need to play with it for a while .
After you find the exact location use a hot glue gun to fix it to that position .
Then tape the wires tidily to the microscope and start taking pictures...

Step 7: Pictures of Pollen (150x 300x 600x)

Pictures of Pollen (150x 300x 600x)

Step 8: Pictures of Cotton(150x 300x 600x)

Pictures of Cotton(150x 300x 600x)

Step 9: Pictures of Grass(150x 300x 600x)

Pictures of Grass(150x 300x 600x)

Step 10: I Hope You Like My Instructable - If You Do - Please Rate It

= Please Rate on the right of the page

I love comments and feedback (good and bad)

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    78 Discussions


    4 years ago

    can i make it without microscope and what type of microscope it is ??? i am from india i am not able to find one

    1 reply

    You need a microscope for this. Try eBay - I've found a x1200 microscope for 25 pounds, free worldwide shipping


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This is really neat but the title is a little deceiving, since the Microscope part of the USB Digital Microscope for only 15$ costs around $250. Otherwise, good job

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Trust me - this microscope is the cheapest type you can buy in a $ shop (it cost 10$) - If I where to use a 250$ one the pictures would be much much better!
    give it a try.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    This microscope cost me 6$ (bad wraping) - new it is 10$ . look in the toy section in "toys R us" good luck :-)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The microscope pictured has a revolving "turret" that allows the user to dial a magnification. You can see a similar microscope with the parts labeled at this web site:


    8 years ago on Step 10

    muy bueno! felicidades Grats!


    9 years ago on Step 3

    In bold @ the top of step III it says "...add a red and white wire."

    Should be red & black as I'm sure you know :p


    9 years ago on Introduction

     hey can you please give me materials how to build this microscope because i want to build two different kinds of microscopes?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I assume it should work .. just give it a try and play with the distances before you put the glue. see the image in real time and only then put the glue on.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You can get better qaulity if you use a nicer digital camera (more detail with higher x) Plus using a stand allows for greater mobility and ensures you get the picture you want, check out my instructable) Sure it's more expensive, but it looks cooler. otherwise AWESOME INSTRUCTABLE (: (my I-able)