18 dollars is the cost price of this laboratory microscope designed for 3D printing by a team from the University of Bath and “opensource” for laboratories
18 dollars is the cost price of this laboratory microscope designed by a team from the University of Bath and “opensource” for laboratories. They now have the ability to 3D print their own precision microscope, a model capable of analyzing samples and detecting diseases. OpenFlexure, described in Biomedical Optics Express, is a fully automated laboratory instrument with motorized positioning of samples and focus control!
This device is described as unique among 3D printed microscopes by its ability to produce high quality images. It was designed to be easy to use, with an intuitive software interface and simplified alignment procedures. It is also highly customizable, which means it can be adapted for laboratory, school and home use.
An affordable microscope that can be used worldwide and in all situations
A more affordable and adaptable device: the design of these British researchers offers a more affordable device, both in terms of initial cost and maintenance cost of the equipment. A commercial microscope for laboratory use can sell for tens of thousands of dollars. The OpenFlexure can be built for $ 18, which includes the cost of the plastic, a camera, and mounting hardware. In addition, it can be declined in a “high-end” version equipped with a microscope objective and a nanocomputer (Raspberry Pi).
“We wanted a microscope that could be used worldwide and in all situations,” said lead author Dr. Joel Collins, a physics researcher at the University of Bath.
To date, more than 100 OpenFlexure have been printed in Tanzania and Kenya, demonstrating the viability of the material. Beyond that, it’s an affordable example of 3D printing. We remember the open source 3D fans or parts of fans that were recently designed to respond to the global shortage.
Reliable enough for medical or laboratory use? Medical equipment normally requires years of safety testing before it can be used in a clinical setting. Thus, the development of a respirator can take years before being certified to the appropriate standards. Without opposing the current authorization procedure for health products and devices, these researchers regret regulations that are sometimes too conservative and ill-suited to the future and 3D printing.