DIY microscope from a webcam

By Malou van der Raaij, intern

Webcams are nowadays almost always integrated in computers, so what to do with all those left-over webcams? Hack them!

On 8 April 2013, we worked with the pupils of the OSB school in Amsterdam to rebuild webcams into microscopes. Armed with their microscopes they could show close-up images on their computers of (ditch) water, a hair and an object of their own choice. To do so, a new housing was made for the old webcam and the pupils could create a movie of what they could see.

So, if you have an old webcam lying around at home gathering dust, you can take it apart. With some small modifications you can make your own microscope too. How? Just have a look at this Instructable. No need to buy expensive microscropes any more to examine water samples or your own hair.

But if you are not so interested in what you can see, you can also use your new device in another way. Joan Prahara Bumi and manticore (Iyok) used their DIY Webcam Microscope as a kind of VJ-ing tool, by visualizing micro organisms in water samples. (VJ: a visual/video jockey is an artist that creates moving artistic images, mostly by video on large screens during concerts or at festivals, exhibitions or live shows).

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