Smartphone Microscopes

Researchers from the DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have designed a 3-D–printable microscope for mobile devices—a smartphone microscope—using just pennies worth of plastic and glass materials. The technology, which combines an iPhone or tablet with a 3-D–printed clip and glass sphere to create the microscope, has a wide range of potential applications, from classrooms to scientists in the field. Best of all, the microscope’s design specs are available for free, so anyone with access to a 3-D printer—including K–12 teachers and students—can make one in a matter of minutes for less than a dollar each. Read an article about the technology, complete with files and instructions necessary to print your own microscope at this website.Then fuel students’ excitement about microscopes by watching a fun, fast-paced video—produced by PNNL and suitable for middle-level audiences—that describes the importance of microscopy. View this video on the website


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