Video Assembly Tutorials

Here are the latest assembly videos for the current Foldscope version. Please explore the videos below to build, assemble and use your foldscope. If you are looking for folding instructions for older foldscope version (version 1.0); please scroll down all the way to the bottom.

Por favor, desplácese hacia abajo para encontrar la versión en español de los videos tutoriales creados por ULPdigital

We hope you will engage with the foldscope community and share your explorations with everyone on this site. Please signup here

Video #1: Foldscope Tutorial: Assembly

Video #2: How to Insert a Microscope slide into Foldscope

Video #3: Foldscope Viewing: Directly with your eye

Video #4: Foldscope Viewing: With your phone camera

Video #5: How to prepare microscope slides for Foldscoping

Video #6: Magnet coupler and lens - they stick to each other

Vídeo #1 ¿Cómo armar el Foldscope? by ULPdigital

Vídeo #2 ¿Cómo separar el Acoplador magnético y la lente? by ULPdigital

Vídeo #3 ¿Cómo preparar una muestra? by ULPdigital

Vídeo #4 ¿Cómo insertar una muestra en el Foldscope? by ULPdigital

Vídeo #5 ¿Observaciones con el Foldscope - ¿Cómo ver directamente con tus ojos? by ULPdigital

Vídeo #6 Observaciones con el Foldscope - ¿Cómo ver usando el Celular? by ULPdigital

Please share questions, queries and suggestions by leaving comments below or sending email to

Finally, we have our official videos for assembly instructions for Foldscope. So many of you have already received your microscopes; and have already started using them. Some of you have them sitting on your desk; and you are tempted to get started assembling. Others are patiently waiting for them to arrive.

In order to help; and use the tool properly – attached here are the official Foldscope assembly instructions and usage videos. If you have any questions, please either post them on forum, or in comment sections of the videos. The detailed instructions are also provided with the microscopes.

If you would like to see step by step printed instructions – please see link here.

Video #1: Foldscope Tutorial: Assembly

Video #2: Foldscope Tutorial: General Use

Video #3: Foldscope Tutorial: Preparing slides

Video #4: Foldscope Tutorial: How to collect data on your cellphone

Video #5: Foldscope Tutorial: Light module and high mag lens assembly

The person behind these videos is Mark Kirollos; a multi-talented Foldscope team member.


Foldscope Team

84 Comments Add yours

  1. Veronica Young says:


    1. alangad says:

      this is amazing, how can i orderd one?
      i would love to have one

  2. Lynn Johnson says:

    Foldscope arrived and I assembled it with no problems. However, each of the lenses has a yellowish smear near the edge and into the center, very much like a glue residue. Makes looking at slides very difficult.

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Simply take a wet “paper towel” and wipe it off. It’s all glass – so you won’t destroy anything. No need to used anything like alcohol; just use water.

      Can you post the image of before and after the cleaning. That might help others also handle any problems during shipping.

      Good luck

  3. Tom Smith says:

    I have spent the afternoon with the foldscope and feel like I am back in science class; it has rekindled a wonder and curiosity that sometimes fades, but now burns bright. This machine will revolutionize healthcare and open the doors or the microcosmos to many children who otherwise would be ignorant of that world. Thank you! I will be writing again with my discoveries and anecdotes.

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Thrilled to read this. Ignite this curiosity in other people

  4. Jason Mason says:

    I am finishing my Bachelor’s in Secondary Education (I know, so far behind..) and will begin teaching February 2015. I found this project and believe in it. It sounds like such a goof idea. I have two nephews (8 and 10) and want them to be as excited about this as I am. I will be assembling my Foldscope in the next few days and look forward to promoting it within my inner circle. I am looking forward to this experience and thank you for the chance to live it. I will do my best to post more about how I’ve used the Foldscope and question opportunities within this beta test.

  5. Great tutorials! I just got an email today that our foldscopes are on their way to us. I’m so excited to share them with my seventh grade science students at Carr Intermediate in Santa Ana, CA. Hopefully we will be posting images soon!

  6. Dan Gallagher says:

    I would like to post this website to a few internet groups that I belong to and would like to know if that would be okay. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this amazing project. I started assembling before the instructions arrived and would like to say I came this close to getting it right. The good news is you will have to use your Foldscope to see how really close I came.

  7. kaushal says:

    just got an email that my foldscope is on its and I am very much excited about it from now only and headed to this page ..
    nice tutorial
    waiting for my fs..
    thanking u in advance

  8. Huan says:

    Hi. What magnifications are the two lenses that are included in the kit? I don’t see it being noted anywhere. Thanks.

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      The low msg lens is 140X and the high mag lens is ~480X. With digital zoom on most camera; your effective zoom might be different (higher).

      Putting in a known object; like a thread you already know the size of or a bead with known size, say laser printer toner – will allow you to record the absolute size.

  9. jeneel says:

    i am very exited about the foldscope hope in reaches asap in india……….even very proud the the inventor of this revolutionary foldscope is Indian …….thanksss

  10. Dennis Clark says:

    Mine arrived the same day as the email. Easy assembly and will use it today. Hopeful for tablet capture so I can share the images.

  11. oldguy says:

    Wish I would have read this before I taped the high mag lens together

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Watch the videos in the assembly link. Everything is reversible – so you can change configurations.


  12. oldguy says:

    Actually I think I have a different issue, all of my lenses have a distinct dark(er) spot on them in about the same location. Appears to be the same color as the plastic, I tried cleaning one and it’s still there. I’m still able to use the scope but it’s a bit annoying and could hinder any pictures I might try to take.

  13. Gwen Gray Schwartz says:

    Stored the envelope away so kids can open as a Christmas present, 3 weeks from the start of our 6-month trip acrosss the states and into Canada investigating how our natural resources are in danger from new energy developments. Thank you for this opportunity!

  14. Cole Warren says:

    Envelope arrived in the mail yesterday can’t wait to get them out and give them a go…

  15. oldguy says:

    I took some pictures with my phone and the spots don’t seem to show up which is good news. I also checked the lense with another microscope and it appears to be particulate spots, I uploaded an image with just the lense and they are there, I’m not sure where the picture is since I’m learning how to use the website. i’ll try and clean it again and post an after image. It’s not a huge deal and my kids and I are having a blast looking at some slides I have.

  16. Ed Brenneman says:

    I have not received my foldscope yet but after receiving the email that it was on its way I watched the video’s that came with the email. The videos are very good but I think telling people, especially young people, to use the sun as the light source could lead to serious eye injuries. I think you should edit that out of the video.

    Ed Brenneman

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Thanks for the comment Ed. The video was edited with a note saying “DO NOT look directly at the SUN!!” – did you see that comment appear when you watched the video. I will make the font for the same even larger; so nobody misses the same and edit it.

    2. Manu Prakash says:

      Dear Ed, I have just made the change in the video. Take a look at 4:47 of the second video here:
      Could you please confirm you can see the change.

      Thanks again for your comment – greatly appreciate it.

  17. Marty Klein says:

    Tried replacing the low mag lens with the high mag lens and holder, but the force fit isn’t keeping it in place. Suggestions?

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Watch video #5 here for assembly of the high-mag lens. Is this the protocol you followed?

  18. Marty Klein says:

    Yes Manu, I followed the instructions in the video. It just won’t stay in place. Looking at the holder with a glass, I see that that it is not round, but oval. Perhaps this is the reason it won’t stay in the hole?

  19. Daniel says:

    Works perfectly for me! The videos were extremely helpful – I’ve already begun examining some leaves! The Foldscope is so amazing 🙂 Here’s my first video:

  20. Martha Auriemma says:

    Hello…I received the e-mail a few days ago that my Foldscope has been shipped! I am so excited and feel so privileged that I was chosen to participate in such a world changing project. I will be taking my Foldscope from the US to remote villages in Uganda and surrounding countries to facilitate the diagnosis of those that are either too ill or do not have the means to travel into larger cities to seek medical care. Thank you so much for all your hard work and effort in developing this and sharing it with the world!

  21. Musau WaKabongo says:

    Hello, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to use the foldscope. We put it together and were able to see our leaf sample. We are looking forward to practicing more.
    Thank you.

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Make sure you watch the video instructions on the assembly page; specially how to collect data.


  22. C. El Hakim says:


  23. Will share this post on facebook when I get home. On my iPhone at the moment. Great post.

  24. Laks Iyer says:

    Beyond Excited. Written instructions for assembly were clear and it was great watching the paper engineering marvel fold. My only issue has been the focusing, especially with samples containing moving microbes, I think cavity slides are ruled out. The cell phone idea is nifty. Hope to start posting pictures as soon as the pics are sharp.

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Excited to read this.

      Video#4 on assembly page deals with how to collect data. Just like anything else, it takes practice to get good at. Watch the video carefully for how to stabilize the phone while using focusing for taking images.

      Also, I use two tricks (a) use timer button on iPhone to take pictures (b) collect videos where I chase living things around.

      Here is a video example you might enjoy:

  25. Hello, I am a microscopist and a microscope dealer of 35 years.
    Can you please let me know how I can purchase some of these ingenius scopes?

  26. I would like to know if I can talk with someone about purchasing a quantity?
    Thank you,

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Right now you can only engage in the large scale experiment here:
      As soon as we have them commercially available, you all will be the first people to know.

      Foldscope Team

  27. jing says:

    I have problem with high mag too. I see the black dots.
    also the little “adapter” thingy for the high mag kinda went flat after few exchanges. now it will not stay in place.

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      The high mag lens adapter is delicate, since it does not have the late lens to support it. Here is what I can suggest:
      1. Remove the high mag lens (remove the sticky tape) and use a ball point pen to raise the cavity again.
      2. Remount the lens and carefully mount it again. You can use adhesive tape to mount instead of insert.

      Please post your results.

  28. AMidnightSoul says:

    Hi, I just opened my kit this week and have put my foldscope together and have started using it. Everything is working great and I think it’s going to be a great educational and exploration tool. The instructional videos were awesome. Unfortunately, in my bubble wrap envelope, I did not have a silver magnetic coupler for attaching to my phone to grab images. I only have the black coupler. Is there some place I can get one so I can start taking pictures of my finds? Thanks!

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Great to hear from you. Sorry to see that one of the silver magnetic couplers is missing. With packaging of 50,000 microscopes – I can imagine mistakes.

      It’s easy to fix this problem though. The only difference between black and silver coupler is magnetc orientation. Since you need the two couplers to stick to each other (right now they must repel each other. Carefully remove the black tape on one of the couplers (if you have two black coupler – take the tiny magnet out and flip its orientation such that the couplers stick to each other – bump to bump. That’s it – you have just made a silver coupler.

      Let me know if you were able to follow the above instructions.

      Happy foldscoping – can’t wait to see what you will post!!

      Foldscope Team


    2. Manu Prakash says:

      Were you able to follow my cues to fix the coupler issue?

      Foldscope team

  29. jeneel says:

    i received the mail on 17th but the foldscope is still not delivered in here in India……..what is the expected day for receving….plz let me know


    1. Manu Prakash says:

      We can not afford to track kits. They are all sent with regular mail – with holiday shipments; we don’t really know when you will receive them (it clearly depends on where you live)..

      My hope is very soon – thanks for being so patient all along.

      Foldscope team

  30. jeneel says:

    yeah…i understand…………hope i get it as a new year gift

  31. jpk says:

    on what basis do you select applications……….i am a teacher and have signed up for 10 foldscopes will i get it

  32. aruna says:

    how do u select applications………i am a teacher and have signed up for 10 microscopes for my students would i get it?

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Dear Aruna,

      We don’t select applications. As long as you are a genuine person, we are shipping the microscopes to all the legitimate (implying that you sincerely filled the application and have a community you want to work with in mind, and agree to post entries by you rand your students at

      Foldscope Team

  33. AMidnightSoul says:

    Thank you Manu! Following your instruction, I was able to get the magnetic strips to stick.

    Happy New Year!

  34. Elmer says:

    The videos are excellent. I will the instructions that came with the foldscope had given a reference to the videos. I struggled to put my together with the instructions that came with it. Seeing the video would have made it much easier. My suggestion: Eliminate the instruction sheet and merely give a reference to the video.

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      Dear Elmer,

      Hope you enjoyed and learned about the microscopes – through the struggles. Remember the microscopes are being used in 130 countries around the world; many in remote areas with no access to Internet or electricity for that matter. Maybe we will send another email about the video instructions.


  35. Michele Haga says:

    We recently moved and I was terrified when I got the email that our foldscopes were mailed that I may not get our package. I felt like I patiently waited but instead I panicked, resubmitted my address change, and the next day my package was in the mail! Patience is truly a virtue 🙂 My three children 7,9,19 as well as my husband and I are extremely excited for the foldscopes. We have agreed to watch the tutorials before putting them together this week. The ideas though are flowing. Everyone has an idea of what they want to explore and I can hardly wait. We will do this together as a family and then share with each child’s classroom for a project. I hope these do become something for purchase, I’m buying 100 to start!! We will be posting our findings soon.

  36. SAlexander says:

    I got an email saying they were shipped or in the process on Dec 16th and still have not received them. Was just wondering if anyone else was in the same boat as I.

  37. jaltman says:

    Absolutely thrilled to have received my foldscope and wish I’d asked for a few more. Will there be a way to request more later? I’m showing it to every science teacher, nurse and anyone who stands still long enough to listen to me. Everyone has the same reaction when they look through it and I quote, “I don’t see…Ohhh, wow!!!!, that is so cool!” Thanks for the videos too!

    1. Manu Prakash says:

      That is a wonderful way to describe it. What is interesting is how universal this reaction is 🙂 I often wait for a smile to come on the face; a sure shot sign that they got it working..


      Foldscope Team

  38. jeneel says:

    when are u planning to ship the next set of foldscopes. hope its soon

  39. Mark Creighton says:

    Still excited and waiting for the foldscopes to arrive. E-mail said they were mailed or soon to be on Dec 19,2014.

  40. jeneel says:

    when are u planning to ship the next set of foldscopes. hope its soon..

  41. raj says:

    i received an email that there is an error in shipping to my address………i filled out the new address form.but i had received an email before that your foldscope in shipped………what is this supposed to mean that after shipping the kit it returned to you

  42. Mark Creighton says:

    Still waiting for the fold scope, was to be mailed Dec 19th. Still waiting.

  43. Where can I buy these. We are doing health behavior change research in remote areas of Vietnam and I desperately need these to train people there to identify what is in the water. 78% have parasites, mostly due to unsanitary conditions. To date we trained 3 villages and almost 2/3 of the families visited reduced their symptoms. We continue again this January. Please tell me where I can get or buy these.

  44. Rita Jensen says:

    I am going to Senegal to help set up science labs through Rotary International and am very interested in buying some of these microscopes. How do I buy some???

  45. Labib says:

    I didn’t have the light module. I tried troch light but can’t focus it and so I can see almost nothing through the high mag lens. Can you give me any idea to solve the light porblem

  46. Peggy Fleming says:

    where can I purchase the Foldscope for me and my grandchildren?

  47. Tiffany Hunter says:

    Received our foldscopes two days ago and we are loving them! Thank you! My first thought was that I should have built it before showing my 3 year old son, but he absolutely loved helping “build” the Foldscope. The videos were very helpful, thank you! We’ll be sharing what he finds!

  48. Amitmb95 says:

    Sir I want to make Foldscope, so I request you to send me a kit .
    I try to buy this online but any company not wants to sell the lens individually.

  49. refract2art says:

    Respected Sir Manu Prakash
    I’m truly fascinated by your idea of foldscope, it got me goosebumps when i first watched your video in TED a few months ago, i was so intrigued by your idea that i build my own simple microscope from household items which could magnify fungus and other specimen in glass slides which brought at a local science store. I used a simple lens from webcam and my phone camera as a eye piece and set without using condenser ,i just adjusted the focal length such that it replaces the condenser. results were pretty good.

    Sir i am pursuing my masters in remote sensing technology and i am concern about the status of scientific knowledge and its importance in our country INDIA, I teach small kids in our local area school physics in every free time i get ,spending atleast 12hours a week, and exposing them to scientific world through the experiments and theories in their books.

    Every kid i know, also knows you and your invention and they consider you as a hero. A true science hero out of fiction books.
    So, i request you to meet them sometime when you visit INDIA and probably if you have free time. Children would love to see you.

    I would be thankfully if you could send us a foldscope that has changed lives of many. Children would be fascinated by seeing it.

    my email :

  50. nafis says:

    I made 7 slides for my foldscope

  51. Madhavan Gopalan says:

    Got my foldscope 2 days ago. Feeling excited like a child

  52. beeto says:

    I have recently received my deluxe kit in the mail. I believe I have assembled it correctly however I’m still not quite sure how to use it or if everything is where it should be. Will you be uploading instructional videos for these updated models?


  53. spudman2014 says:

    I received my Foldscope and it does NOT look anything like the tutorials. It was the “deluxe” version and I am very disappointed. The slides do not seem to fit anywhere and they move all over the place. Where are the tutorials for the “deluxe” kit?

  54. paulsbugs says:

    My kit \instruction parts do not look like anything on vidio tutorial. No “l” shape, no mag strips, no high mag, in fact nothing resembles this tutorial. My paper is blue, sample stage yellow…received 2 identical lens, 2 identical couplers. What to do. Batch code 72674

  55. rludeman7916 says:

    the instructions for assembly absolutely suck!! No explanation at all about which one is the lens. The online video tutorial is for a completely different foldscope than I received. Not even close to comparing. different colors, etc. Who can get in touch with me? I am beyond frustrated. I have it together and I look through the lens and it is fully crystallized over and you can’t see a thing through it at all. Ruth Ludeman

  56. rludeman7916 says:

    there is no way to tell which one is the lens even. I have no idea.. you should increase the size of what the lens looks like. does the lens have a bump. You should say so. I have never been so frustrated in my life trying to put something together.. and then I watch the video and it shows all these different sized lens and I have no idea what lens I have put in, but the bottom line is that I can’t see a thing through any of it.

  57. rludeman7916 says:

    also the instructions at the end tell us to go to this webpage to “register” and there is absolutelyl no way to register. You can either log in if you already have a wordpress account or you are out of luck. We are supposed to be able to register with the number you provided with our kit, but again THERE IS NO WAY TO REGISTER FOR ANYTHING ON YOUR WEBSITE. YOU EITHER LOG IN OR YOU DON’T.

  58. dhdpic says:

    These videos really helped as the printed instructions included are difficult to understand. The lighting on the construction video is poor though.

    I have tried to connect to my phone but the lens for iPhone 6s stands too proud to stick to the coupler, so I have to just try and hold it in the right place. The same goes with projection.

    This is a really great idea, but poor instructions and fiddly operation has made this overall a slightly frustrating experience.

  59. dhdpic says:

    Also the box doesn’t properly close if you put the foldscope inside it. Again, a bit frustrating.

  60. Sivalingam suppiah says:

    I received my Delux Foldscope kit yesterday. Its a compact box complete with all the necessary items. Planning to use this during my overseas trip.

  61. lroberge says:

    Dear sirs, Got the classroom kit with deluxe unit. I am preparing to demonstrate a class of 7th graders. BUT, the ring with the magnet-was stuck-embedded at the bottom of the deluxe kit and broke. Is it possible to get a replacement. I started using it with the cell phone camera, but the ring is not working well.
    Please advise. Lroberge AT mapinternet DOT com
    Thank you.

  62. ibfoldscope says:

    how to see water from foldscope please answer

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