Foldscope: a paper microscope

This is really interesting invention: a foldable microscope with integrated optics and illumination system. The slide can also be moved in two dimensions and it is possible to focus. I wonder when these microscopes become available. They are not only interesting for diagnosis of malaria but also for schools and in education. The microscope is, essentially, a modification of van Leeuvenhoek’s single lens microscope. It uses a spherical lens. It should not be too difficult to build one from a printable plan.

8 thoughts on “Foldscope: a paper microscope”

      1. I’ve sent in a project idea, I hope I get one. *crosses fingers*

        If I do I’ll make a thorough review of it in the forums.

  1. Using the same or similar building processes, would it be possible to build a macro lens for DSLR camera’s? Some macro camera lenses are very expensive. A foldscope macro lens would indeed be a photographers dream, I can sure vouch for that. Maybe some of the money made selling the paper macro lenses could go to funding the microscope for poorer communities or medical purposes. As a photographer I’d be happy to pay more for the macro for this purpose.

    1. There are already lenses for DSLR cameras available. These are called “close-up filters”. These screw on like a filter on top of the camera’s objective. These lenses might not provide the best image quality, but I have found them quite useful. Attaching a fold-scope like lens to a DSLR would not work, as the lens diameter is too small in the fold-scope.

  2. One of Prakash presentations shows the foldscope projecting an image.
    It’s not difficult to see that mounting the foldscope on a tube in front of a camera lens where the real image can be focussed on, would yield a picture. Might need a long-ish exposure, probably a few seconds.

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