As a maker space, we love exploring the creative side of science. So when one of our members introduced us to Foldscopes, which are origami-inspired microscopes, we had to investigate! These awesome microscopes are not only fun but practical due to their low-cost and small size. They travel anywhere and are even water resistant.
The Foldscope was developed at Stanford University after two scientists traveled the world and became frustrated with the lack of accessibility to microscopes. You can learn more about their fascinating story on their website but their overall goal was simple; to create a $1 microscope so that everyone could carry a microscope in their pocket.
The technology that went into this little microscope was published in PLOS if you’d like to learn more.
SoundBio recently hosted an evening workshop for folks interested in building a Foldscope. Foldscopes arrive in a mesh pouch and require assembly. Led by Dr. de Lange, participants built and folded their microscopes together, including the lens which has several parts that connect together via magnets. Once assembled, participants tested out the microscopes with SoundBio’s slide collection. Here’s one awesome image of fungi that was captured in the process:
More Foldscope images taken from scientific enthusiasts around the world can be found on their community website called Microcosmos. Be sure to check it out here. We hope it inspires your curiosity!