Loupe From Coffee Cup




Introduction: Loupe From Coffee Cup

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A Loupe (pronounced loop) is a type of magnification device used to see small details more closely and  can be found in many industries that require close examination of small details. Jewelery experts use them to inspect gems, in printing they are used to check colour and quality of prints, and back-yard entomologists can use them to examine creepy-crawlies without them scurrying away.

The loupe shown here is made from a reused paper coffee cup. While you may not be using this to check out the Star of Africa anytime soon you can still see what bugs are hiding in your garden, up close!
This instructable was entered in the Coffee Cup Contest

Enough talk, let's loupe!

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Step 1: Tools + Materials

To make your own loupe you will need:
  • hobby knife
  • plastic magnifying sheet (found at dollar store)
  • any size paper cup

Step 2: Remove Bottom of Cup

Using a sharp hobby knife, carefully remove the bottom of he paper cup.

Step 3: Trace and Cut

Place your cup on your magnification sheet and trace opening outline, once traced cut out. As seen in the picture, I left 'fins' on my magnification sheet cut-out to allow for a friction fit into the cup.
With the lens is cut slightly larger than the opening no glue is required.

Some magnification sheets have less distortion at the centre than at the edges, choose the location for your cut-out carefully.

Step 4: Light Channels

To help illuminate the object we are examining light channels are cut near the lip. These channels allow light to enter into the chamber without being dulled by the opacity of the cup.

Step 5: Results

Once assembled, you now have a loupe to examine any small item you want to take a closer look at.
I checked out an old watch then ventured out into the yard and scoped some worms and wood-bugs.
Why not make your own and see what your garden has to offer?

Makers who build their own loupe and post the results in the comments below.
have fun! Happy making :)

Participated in the
Coffee Cup Challenge

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    5 Discussions

    Lithium Rain
    Lithium Rain

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh - a Fresnel lens! I remember playing with those in elementary school! :) Cool project.

    Bill WW
    Bill WW

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice project Mike, thanks, I will try it. May be useful for those of us that are a bit vision challenged; I will use mine in the shop.

    You must be Canadian, Montreal?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, I hope it helps you out. I would love to see your version of this when you make it!

    I'm from Vancouver


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I have never heard of a plastic magnifying sheet....but now I want one! This is a very neat idea, well done!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Basically a thin plastic fresnel lens, usually found in office supply store.