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Microscope on a MakerBot at Altlab!

Bio MakerBot from Joel BELOUET on Vimeo.

Extreme MakerBot Experimenter Extraordinaire Catarina from Altlab blogged about using the MakerBot as a platform for a digital microscope!

Joel Belouet has been working on an art piece involving microorganisms and needed a support structure for his microscope camera. It turns out the MakerBot sitting on our table was the solution.

At first Joel attached the camera to the z axis and the slide rested on the build platform, but it soon became clear that it would be much better to have the sample remain still and the camera move instead. Inverting the positions meant attaching the slide to the bottom of the z axis platform in order to prevent the camera lens from bumping against it. This setup also allowed him to use the z crank as a focus mechanism.

So we were happy with the physical setup which, in conjunction with ReplicatorG’s control panel, proved very useful for finding and tracking microorganisms within the sample.

But we also wanted to try an automated scan.

So the next step was to generate a path for the camera. We made a bunch of experiments with MakerBot’s Frostruder Tool Sweet, but eventually an stl + skeinforge, with a feedrate of 12 mm/m, turned out to be the best solution.

Finally, the microscope camera (which is a cheap webcam with a macro lens that Joel flipped upside down) was connected to his Processing script that records both video and stills from the incoming video feed.

Read more over on the altlab blog!

Tagged with 4 comments
 

4 Comments so far

  • Oleksiy
    June 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm
     

    Looks like your RSS feed plugin got hacked. Google reader adds all kind of adds to this post.

     
  • Using a MakerBot as a microscope | Daring Minds.Com
    June 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm
     

    […] Catarina M and Joel Belouet have been experimenting with using a MakerBot as a microscope stage. They removed the print head from their MakerBot 3d printer and replaced it with a cheap webcam, which allowed them to automate scanning of microscopic samples. It looks like a great platform to experiment with, both for scientific and artistic projects. [via makerbot] […]

     
  • Using a MakerBot as a microscope - machine quotidienne
    June 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm
     

    […] Catarina M and Joel Belouet have been experimenting with using a MakerBot as a microscope stage. They removed the print head from their MakerBot 3d printer and replaced it with a cheap webcam, which allowed them to automate scanning of microscopic samples. It looks like a great platform to experiment with, both for scientific and artistic projects. [via makerbot] […]

     
  • Using a MakerBot as a microscope « Artificial Intelligence Church
    July 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm
     

    […] It looks like a great platform to experiment with, both for scientific and artistic projects. [via makerbot] Read the Full Story » | More on MAKE » | Comments » | Read more articles in 3D […]

     
 

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