Welcome to the Lego Microscope GitHub page. The aim is to provide the instructions and resources of the Lego Microscope for everybody interested. Additionally, we hope that you get inspired to introduce extension or improvements. We are especially keen on translations of the explorer kit instructions for kids. But here are many other things that you might think you can improve. If so, feel free to create a forge, and to upload your changes.
In this repository you will find the following key information to built your own Lego Microscope:
- The building instructions as PDF
- The parts lists as Bricklink ldr list. You can upload the Bricklink list on Bricklink.com to quickly get the bricks in case you have no Lego at home.
- The links to webpages that sell the ocular lenses (Europe, UK)
- The smartphone lens we use here (iPhone 5s camera module).
- The Explorer Kit, which will help you to learn about microscopy and optics while you build the microscope.
- The scientific paper we wrote about the Lego Microscope
We have two sets of Instructions.
- The full plan that you want to use to build the entire microscope.
- A plan that is separated into five parts A, B,C, D and E, which is used if you want to follow the Explorer Kit. In case you want to do this, we suggest downloading the LEGO package folder, containing all the info for the kit.
We created the instructions using the free software LDraw, which allows to generate basically any Lego building instructions. You can download LDraw, follow the instructions to install, and then you can open the CAD file of the plan. Here you have the possibility to add features and improve the plan as you think is good. Please don’t forget to share the great improvements by creating a forge.
The Non-Lego Parts
Although we tried to implement as much as possible using Lego parts, including the illumination, we had to use some third party lenses, as Lego does not offer optics. In the current state you need 3 types of additional lenses.
- Ocular: We used two simple acrylic lens (diameter 34.5 mm, f = 106 mm) as occular, which we combined using simple transparent tape. In the current setup we use the lense number 308.OM7. (Europe, UK)
- Low Magnification Objective: Here we used a simple glass lens with a diameter of 18 mm and a focal length of 26.5 mm. In the current setup we use the lens number 551.OA51 (EU, UK). You are welcome to use any other lenses here. For the lens to be able to mount in the objective as planned in the instruction: be careful about the dimensions.
- High magnification Objective: Here we used the plastic lens of a iPhone 5 camera module. At the time of writing you can get these modules for about 2-4€ via ebay. It’s a bit of a shame, as we remove all the fancy electronics, but we only need the lens 🙂
To have a bit more fun with the instructions, we generated a little guided tour that helps you to explore the potential of the Lego microscope. It is a simple idea to learn about optics while you built it. Did you know the difference between a magnification glass and a microscope? You might be suprised how simple a microscope in principle is!
BEWARE: For the Explorer Kit, you (adult) have to prebuild the objectives. This part is a bit hard for smaller children. If your kids are already experts, the you can let them do it, but they need to use some sharp tools to disassemble the smartphone camera module. So please be careful and stay with them to avoid any injury!
As for the instructions, we would be happy if you generate any improvements or extension for the explorer kit. Just create a fork and submit your changes.
We have currently generated translations for the explorer kit in several languages:
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.