Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Microsc. 2016 Nov;264(2):238-246. doi: 10.1111/jmi.12433. Epub 2016 Aug 29.

Free and open-source automated 3-D microscope.

Author information

1
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, USA.
2
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, USA. pearce@mtu.edu.
3
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, USA. pearce@mtu.edu.

Abstract

Open-source technology not only has facilitated the expansion of the greater research community, but by lowering costs it has encouraged innovation and customizable design. The field of automated microscopy has continued to be a challenge in accessibility due the expense and inflexible, noninterchangeable stages. This paper presents a low-cost, open-source microscope 3-D stage. A RepRap 3-D printer was converted to an optical microscope equipped with a customized, 3-D printed holder for a USB microscope. Precision measurements were determined to have an average error of 10 μm at the maximum speed and 27 μm at the minimum recorded speed. Accuracy tests yielded an error of 0.15%. The machine is a true 3-D stage and thus able to operate with USB microscopes or conventional desktop microscopes. It is larger than all commercial alternatives, and is thus capable of high-depth images over unprecedented areas and complex geometries. The repeatability is below 2-D microscope stages, but testing shows that it is adequate for the majority of scientific applications. The open-source microscope stage costs less than 3-9% of the closest proprietary commercial stages. This extreme affordability vastly improves accessibility for 3-D microscopy throughout the world.

KEYWORDS:

3-D microscope; imaging; microscope; open hardware; optics; stage

PMID:
27571224
DOI:
10.1111/jmi.12433

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center