Wooden base for the microscope

Hey everyone there,

we are using the OpenFlexure Microscopes for some research-projects for joung students and pupils. Great tool! We were able to image monoatomic layers of TMDC-crystals even without the “high-res optics”!!! (we counter-checked with a high-quality microscope, of course)

We will invite several kids from schools in November to build their own microscopes for their schools. Instead of using your 3D-printed Raspberry case, we would like to make a wooden board, on which the main body of the microscope and the raspberry pi will be mounted. We want to cut these boards with our LaserCutter. For this purpose, it would be nice to have either the original CAD-files from the main body or, even better, a svg-file with the border of the main body bottom side (including the two screw-holes). With that, we can design the rest ourselves.


  • fabqu

EDIT: I will share a few photos from the monoatomic TMDC layers as soon as possible

that’s very cool :slight_smile: I should mention that @JohemianKnapsody did some fun reflection-mode imaging of TMDCs and graphene during his MPhys project, so it would be very good to connect the two of you on that subject.

As far as the wooden board goes, I’ve just tidied up the code that makes SVGs of the bottom of the microscope, which I think is what you want: the relevant code is in a merge request, but for simplicity I’ve attached the SVG here.


That shows the bottom of the casing, with the four M6 mounting holes (these line up with the holes on an optical breadboard) and the three M3 mounting holes that join the “bucket bases” together (those are the ones I’d use to mount it to the baseboard). I think I’d use one of the microscope stands (either one that holds the Pi, or the shorter one without the Pi) to bolt the microscope to the board, rather than trying to do without it entirely - it will be much more robust that way.

There are other options, for example cutting a “pocket” that the microscope will neatly sit inside - but using the screw holes is almost certainly simplest and most robust.

If you do decide to do without the intermediate stand, you’ll need some spacers to allow for the feet and the moving parts to protrude through the plate. It would be nice to have some cut-outs for that, but it’s not entirely trivial to do. I have also generated the SVG I think you were originally asking for - but I’d recommend the approach above as being more robust and easier to do, because of the need for all the cut-outs.


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Hi Richard,
thank you very much! The second svg is the one I was looking for (bottom ot the main body). We will design a simple board on which the main body as well as the raspberry pi will be mounted. I hope I can do this till the end of the week and upload a picture of that. With the cut-outs it is easy. We use 4mm wood, I think that is enough for the parts moving up and down. I’ll let you know!

  • Fabian

Great - I think 4mm should be enough, except for the feet and the high-res optics module (which will protrude down by 15-20mm).

So, the first test board is done, looks OK.
I made the holes such that the “3 feet” can go through the board but I want to make a new version where you can directly attach the rubber bads, so no need to have the “3 feet”.
The jpg shows how I adjusted the laser cutter: black is cutting (cutting mode, low speed, high power), red is engrave (cutting-mode, mid power, high speed) and blue is engrave (engrave mode, low power, mid speed).



Nice! If you’re being thorough, you should probably cut out the two rectangles corresponding to the legs on the bottom and right of the microscope - these need to be able to extend downwards by about 1mm when you move the stage in that direction. It might work without doing this but will stress the flexures and potentially fail earlier than it otherwise would. Otherwise, it looks ideal :slight_smile:

Oh yes, thank you!


I would be interested to try to laserCut it if you had a good experience with this. I prefer the main files in Inkscape or whatever you use as many times conversions mess up the dimensions.

In long term, I would also be interested in the CAD/CNC files if you have them as I’m thinking to try to cut one out of cutting boards material HDPE. I’m normally using Fusion.

I think it would make a nice alternative to the 3D printed one.
May Thanks,

Hi Adrian,

this is the 2D-vectorgraphic (.svg) which I used. It worked quite well with our Lasercutter, we just imported this file into the Lasercut-Software.

Hope that works for you, too!

Best regards from Regensburg,

  • Fabian!BoardMicroscopAndPi
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