About the Microscope


The BioBus DIY microscope is intended to be a hands-on and modular optical platform, where students can experiment with designing and building their own microscope! Its modular nature allows for many different optical configurations. Using the DIY optical kit, you can build a compound microscope to look at cells, or a functional model of the human eye: just let your imagination guide you!

All the optical mounts for the DIY microscopes have been custom designed and 3D printed.  In addition to saving money on the structural components themselves, this allows using surplus lenses, instead of standard size ones, allowing for both high quality and low cost. The microscope can be flexibly aligned for 40X or 200X magnification, in order to see small organisms and cells. You can take pictures and videos of the samples with your phone and share it on social media. As an open source community project, all the design files are available online for as .stl files (under Open Source). You can find direction on how to put together your microscope under the “Assembly” menu.

More than an affordable microscope, the BioBus DIY microscope is conceived to be an educational tool. This website is for students, schools, and people interested in building a microscope and learning about optics and the physics of light. Short microscopy lessons and teaching curricula developed by BioBus scientists and students are available under the “Optics Curriculum” menu. At the end of each exercise found in the Teaching Curriculum, you will have assembled the entire microscope, and will be ready to use it to image your favorite samples!

 Educational Value of the Microscopes 
  • learning by making
  • experimenting with basic optics
  • understanding the structure of a microscope
Technology and the Microscope
  • 3D printed structural components
  • Customly assembled light source
  • Record images and videos with your phone camera