Now I'm hooked on this world of microbes

I came to build my microscope basically from being a techie looking for an interesting project to build, having a spare Raspberry Pi and camera module and a 3D printer, but no clue of microscopes or biology.

So I built it. put a drop of dirty water from the garden on, and then the wife and me spent an evening chasing interesting looking creatures. And today I think I witnessed a cell division, live:

Thanks a lot to the people that made this wonderful project!



Wow! That’s so cool. I’m not a biologist so have no idea if this is actually a cell dividing but sure does look like it does in books.

Can I like that more than once? It is a really nice sequence.

How long did the division take?

Is this with the Pi camera lens version of the microscope, or using a microscope objective?

It’s about 9 minutes (yay for timestamps in filenames!) from the second pic (where it starts to look divided) to the last.

BTW, does anyone have any example code using the API to to timelapses? The quick shell script I threw together reliably locks up the camera after about 35 images.


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There is the jupyter notebook pyclient if you are happy python scripting.

@jc2450 is there a time-lapse plugin? If not is there a nice way to make one quickly? Seems a low effort way to get some really nice data.

@WilliamW you can’t :frowning_face:. But I can award a nice gold microscope badge which I did!

So weirdly I made a time lapse plug-in for the documentation example and then never packaged it into the server… for whatever reason.

I’ll get it added in the next release.


Because it was an example plug-in not an actual plug-in! :rofl: How easy is it for someone to add in manually? Do you have a link to the example?

It’s crazy!
What is your openflexure configuration, what lens are you using?
Do you have some link to buy?
I’m from france and for me this amaizing project begin…

I just built the most simple version with the RPI camera module v1 and the lens from that module. You can find those modules very cheap on the usual chinese sites, for example this one: for US$ 3.45. I’ve selected the camera module v1 simply because I had a spare.

And, speaking of RPI cameras, let me add a quick plug for another piece of software even though it’s offtopic: which turns any RPI + camera into a full HD, 30 fps motion detection engine. I’m giving a bunch of RPI 1’s a new lease of life with that, to see if the mice are coming for our bird seeds or what the dormice are doing in the shed (spoiler: they’re hibernating since about mid-October :slight_smile: )


Your result is just amaizing with “just” a standard camera build!

Nice work!