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