How To Make A Paper Microscope Chassis Within Ten Minutes

Are you one of those biology geeks who are obsessed with microscopes? If so, then it’s clear that the prospect of making a microscope chassis out of paper would fill you with joy. Besides, all it takes is less than 10 minutes of your time and it would cost less than…wait for it…$1. No, missing zeroes in that figure is not a mistake but that’s exactly the figure that Bioengineer Manu Prakash from Stanford quotes. Say hello to Foldscope.


Courtesy: Stanford University

Prakash and his colleagues are determined to provide this cheap but helpful tool for education and field research. The outline of each component constituting the structure of the microscope is printed on a card stock upon which it is punched out. The primary components to attach comprise of a battery, LED and lens, ofcourse. Those are the main and expensive parts to your microscope as you’d know it.

This origami approach helps users to align each of the optical parts once the microscope folds. Any sample that needs studying can be placed on a tape which is the natural replacement for microscope slides. You can add up to 2000x magnification to the microscope depending on the lens you choose. Scope can also be custom made for various purposes. For instance, one with 2000x magnification is sufficient to detect malaria-causing parasites.

Speaking of battery time, it can operate for up to 50 hours. The strength of such microscopes is also quite appreciable as they can resist the wear and tear from drops. Ofcourse, that doesn’t mean one begins trying to accomplish that task because it will eventually give way to torture. However, one can’t argue that this is more than what you’d expect a 50 cent microscope to offer.

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