3D printed modules for optics


Reiner Heintzmann and colleagues in Jena (http://www.useetoo.org/contact/) have developed a very interesting project called UC2 (http://www.useetoo.org/home/) - the project seems to have some of the same DNA and inspiration as Richard Bowman’s flexure stage microscope (https://gitlab.com/openflexure/openflexure-microscope/) and Mihails Delmans’ µCube modular mount for optical components (https://github.com/mdelmans/uCube). They have developed a new standard - with smaller dimensions, magnetic fasteners and electrical connectors for I2C - and have expanded the repertoire of accessory optical, mechanical and electronic components that can be integrated into the design.

For example - you should/must! check out the amazing mini motorised XY scanner (£3 each from AliExpress, including shipping! - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Micro-stepping-motor-cross-platform-small-mobile-digital-microscope-XY-axis-table-experiment-two-slide/32790147861.html) This is asking to be included in some Biomaker projects. Also, this year we’re introducing TotemMaker hardware into the OpenPlant Biomaker Challenge for teams based in Cambridge and Norwich. The Totem hardware provides a flexible platform for the integration of electronics, optics and biological interfaces (https://totemmaker.net/wiki/)


The UC2 team have integrated the XY scanner into a full XYZ unit, with 3D printed flexure stage and Arduino automated control - in the UC2 cube format. I’m sure that this can find use in a number of optical devices - and the UC2 Github site is an excellent resource for ideas and technical information.


UC2 are running a workshop for early career researchers - wher they have a chance to design and build light sheet microscopes. More details at: http://www.useetoo.org/workshop/

Jim Haseloff