Did you know if you use a drop of water on your smartphone’s camera, you can capture a magnified version of photograph? This hack is simple and doable but there is still a risk of ruining your camera lens with water. The trick was helpful until the only alternative was a big bulky microscope device attached to smartphone. Well, this is not the case anymore.
A new smartphone microscope has been 3D printed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), which is a clip on device for your phone or tablet. This microscope attachment is far lighter and easy to handle then the previous versions.
The 3D printed smartphone microscope comes with two versions designed to fit most brands such as iPhone 4 & 5, Galaxy S3 & S4 phones and iPads; one can magnify up to 350x and the other to a whopping 1000x. The .STL files are available on the PNNL website so you can print out your very own microscope.
If you are not using compatible smartphone brand, you can still use this microscope with multi-platform files. There is an additional file available that can add a slide holder to the 3D model. However for other devices, the magnification is limited to 100x and 350x.
PNNL aim was to create a product that can be used as a science gear in schools at minimal cost. They also wanted to make a discard-able version, which can be replaced if contaminated. The final product took under $1 to be created. Don’t be shocked. The 3D printer required only wee bit of filament (roughly $1 per ounce) and a single glass sphere (approximately $0.0015 each) to manufacture the smartphone microscope.
If you have a 3D printer, then you can print the product and use it either for yourself or maybe help a school nearby.