A Box Of Lego And An Old iPhone Camera Lens Is All You Need
If you don’t have a box full of random LEGO then this project will not be as inexpensive as it would be for someone who has squirrelled away a lifetime of blocks; perhaps this project is a good excuse to change that as this is intended to be a family project. The iPhone camera lens is similar, if you don’t have an old dead cellphone like an iPhone5s kicking around the recommended replacement part is a 34,5 mm, f +106 mm lens, with sources listed under the wiki on Github.
The build list is an ldr file, which is something else you should familiarize yourself with if you have never run into it before. You just save the file and upload to Bricklink.com for a complete list of required blocks. The instructions also include a list at the bottom, as the design team uploaded the instructions that match the layout of ones you would find in an official LEGO kit.
Hackaday tried it out and found it was perfect for kids to get into microscopy, letting them look closely at random household items, hair or random bugs and flora. If you are looking for something more challenging and higher powered, Hackaday links to a lab-grade Lego microscope in their post as well.
As for results, they’re really not bad. Images of typical samples, like salt crystal, red onion cells, and water fleas are remarkably clear and detailed. It might no be a lab-grade Lego microscope, but it looks like it’s more than up to its intended use.