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!

This project doesn’t look too hard, but if you don’t want to DIY, Amazon would be happy to bail you out with a selection of smartphone microscopes.  They appear to vary widely in price as well as quality, but I can’t vouch for any of them.

Thanks to @TheRealDMC for pointing out this great idea!

4 thoughts on “DIY Smartphone Microscope

  1. Ryan D says:

    This is amazing. I really like the idea about using this in an under-funded, or even a normal-funded classroom. I built a little race car when I was in Jourior High. I think it a DIY class could be useful. That class could build this and maybe other things for their school.

    • Jeremy Cook says:

      Glad you enjoyed! Definitely true. Maybe there could be some sort of limited miniature free market system in schools for equipment etc. Could be interesting for learning on many levels.

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