Functioning microscope built just out of Lego

July 1, 2014

Carl Merriman is a Lego artist; he has used Lego to build numerous projects, including the Brownie Hawkeye at a scale of 1:1 which took him 7 hours. His latest creation is a compound microscope made completely from Lego bricks, which actually works. The microscope consists of magnifying glasses; adjustable knobs and LEDs which provide the Lego Microscope Mk II with 10x magnification.

actual view

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What is even more astonishing is the fact that the microscope is lab quality and comes with adjustable settings along with stage clips on an adjustable stage that ensure that the slides are kept in place. Merriman took  inspiration for the microscope from the Lego X-Pod. This is a piece of equipment that is used for carrying or storing small pieces and Merriman thought that it looked like a petri dish, only deeper.

lego microscope

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Merriman said “I used a planetary gear system to allow both coarse and fine adjustment of the objective ‘lens’A little more tinkering and I connected the focus to a magnifying glass and fibre optic light in the eyepiece, so adjusting the focus knobs would actually bring the writing on a LEGO stud in and out of focus.

LEGO Microscope MkII - Lens Detail

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While the microscope will not cut in when it comes to checking out viruses or looking at cells in blood, it does work, as the picture shows. The key to making the microscope work was the magnifying glass along with the Power Function LEDs. It was said that the kit would make use of Lego magnifying glasses. At the moment the design makes use of just one lens for the magnification effect which is seen through the eyepiece, if there was enough light it could be possible to make one that would be fully functional.

LEGO Microscope MkII - Actual View

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Merriman has had a passion for Lego building for more than 27 years. He hopes that the microscope will get over 10,000 supporters on the Lego Ideas website, where people can vote for their favourite project. If this happens a review board will take a look and decide if the microscope will actually be made into a Lego product and sold on the market.


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