Successful assembly and preliminary experiment

Together with my daughters Luciana (14yo) and Paloma (7yo), I assembled the foldscope following the video instructions.  Our kit was missing the high mag lens. We received two foldscope sheets, two low mag lenses, one condenser lens, one LED light source, tape coverslips and one phone camera adaptor. We prepared two slides with the tape coverslips, and were able to assemble and visually test both foldscopes. We left the slides in the foldscope overnight. The next day, one of the lenses was damaged (I am not sure why this happened, but probably related to having left the slide in the microscope overnight.) The other microscope was OK. We took a picture of a human hair sample prepared on the tape slide, using the camera of an iphone 4s, by laying the foldscope on a table and then laying the phone or tablet on top of the foldscope (the camera location of the iphone4s does not allow one to use the camera adapter).

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    – You can easily clean the lens by just taking a a tissue paper and a little water. Nothing would be damaged. Just let it dry and it’s clean as new.

    – Can you take a picture of your iphone4s. I am confused why you could not used the magnetic adapters. Did you receive 4 magnetic couplers.

    Foldscope Team

  2. Gus Rosania says:

    The iphone has the camera in the upper left hand corner of the phone, so when one attaches the magnetic holder, half of it is actually outside the phone. Then the foldscope rests asymmetrically on the phone, which makes it very difficult to handle. Eventually, I did take the picture with the iphone (the one I posted was such a picture), but I had to first look around with my eyes to find the object of interest, then rest the foldscope on a surface, then rest the phone on the foldscope, then take several pictures while moving the phone around and pressing on the foldscope up and down to find the best focal plane. It was not trivial.

    I will try cleaning the lens as you suggested.

    The kit only came with one set of magnetic holders (the second set was also missing from my kit).

    I should also need to note that the double sided tape included with the foldscope was not very useful…I spent the same amount of time trying to peel the double sided tape as I spent assembling the whole foldscope. At the end, I took the first, preliminary test images without using the magnetic adaptor, because of problems with the tape and the position of the iphone camera (explained above).

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      It is Ok for half the magnetic coupler to be hanging on the other side. I use an iPhone 5 and my camera is also on the left. All my data shown in posts here: and here: and more – all is collected from the phone coupler.

      Here are a few hints to mounting the coupler properly to the phone.
      a) Use tape freely to mount the magnetic coupler (silver or black) to the phone (Even though half of it is hanging to the side). You can use the tape on the side that is on the phone. You can also use tape perpendicular to the tape as well. In the end; you just want to securely tape the magnetic coupler to the tape.
      b) Having one kit of magnetic coupler is Ok; since they are exactly the same and you never need to use them all. So all you need is one stripe of silver and one stripe of black.

      – Just use a regular double sided tape from the market (3M);
      The special double sided tape is provided for countries that you can not get any double sided tape. Remember; these units are going around the world and most people can not walk to a CVS and just pickup double sided tape. Although it takes time to peel off; it’s everything if you can’t just buy anything from a store.

      – Try using the coupler; it makes a world of a difference when you are trying to do experiments. Watch the video in the assembly link: (Video#4) to see how the cellphone is best used. This way the cellphone is sitting on the table, and you move and handle the microscope.


      1. Gus Rosania says:

        Manu, Thank you for all these tips. I am totally excited! The foldscope really works orders of magnitude better than anything I had imagined. I would advocate for every school in every country of the world to use the foldscope as a starting point for introducing kids to science… it will be revolutionary. I will keep posting the results of my experiments :-)! Best wishes, Gus

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