DIY Smartphone Microscope


Would you like a digital microscope? Perhaps you’d like to turn your smartphone into one.

If you have a cell phone, you can make a DIY smartphone microscope with up to 175x magnification using $10 worth of parts via this Instructables article. It also claims that you’ll only need 20 minutes to make this setup, but I’m a little skeptical on both counts.


Regardless, this is a really simple setup, using only wood, plexiglass, nuts/bolts, and a lens from a laser pointer. If it takes you a little longer than 20 minutes, the results appear to be worth it.  Besides the article linked above, you can see a video of how one of these microscopes is made after the “read more” link.

The video claims that this is a “viable option for under-funded science classrooms,” which may be true. Perhaps it could be a good project for normally-funded shop classrooms as well! Continue reading

3D Printed GoPro Filter Adapter

If you have a GoPro camera, you may wonder if filters normally used with DSLR cameras could be used with it. The good news is that yes, you can, and if you have access to a 3D printer, a handy adapter can be printed for this purpose. This adapter was originally seen on Reddit, and you can get the print file here if you’d like to make one. It’s designed for 52mm filters, but the design should be able to be modified for whatever size you need.

I’ve actually done something similar to this 3D Printed GoPro Filter Adapter, instead cutting out of wood using a CNC router. You can see my results, as well as video of it in action here.

Alternatively, if you don’t have access to “exotic tools,” you can simply buy a GoPro filter kit with three lenses from Amazon for just under $12 (as of this writing). This is certainly the easiest option, although possibly not as fun!

Your Zoom Lens isn’t Broken, Just Clean the Glass Out!


Surprisingly, this lens was not broken!

Recently, I dropped my Tamron zoom lens.  As far as camera lenses go, it wasn’t that expensive, but being a DSLR lens, it still cost close to $200.  Basically, I picked up my excellent camera sling (Amazon) without the door zipped shut.  Apparently having the door closed is required for proper equipment retention.

After picking the lens up, I could feel loose glass shaking around, and see it when the cap was taken off.  The lens quickly went in the trash.  After all, I don’t want glass spewing all over my garage.  For what it’s worth, I had my GoPro running on time-lapse, so I was able to produce a crude video of it happening, which can be seen later in this post.

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After initially throwing it away, Continue reading