Designing a Lego microscope

By Karen Hornby posted 21-04-2021 11:12


Some news from @Nicholas Souter about an article on designing a lego microscope (thank you to Nicholas for sharing)

This abstract and the conclusion within this paper looks as if it will be useful/of wider interest.  The pdf of the full paper is available at:

Designing a high-resolution, LEGO-based microscope for an educational setting | bioRxiv


Microscopy is an essential tool in many fields of science. However, due to their costs and fragility, the usage of microscopes is limited in classroom settings and nearly absent at home. In this article we present the construction of a microscope using LEGO® bricks and low-cost, easily available lenses. We demonstrate that the obtained magnification and resolution are sufficient to resolve micrometer-sized objects and propose a series of experiments that explore various biophysical principles. Finally, a study with students in the age range of 9 to 13 shows that the understanding of microscopy increases significantly after working with the LEGO microscope.



Using LEGO and low-cost, easily available lenses, it is possible to construct a microscope that can resolve micrometer-sized objects, with a resolution that is close to the diffraction limit of light. A series of experiments is suggested, covering different fields of natural sciences, that can be conducted with household ingredients. The modular design of the microscope itself also lets it easily be incorporated in a curriculum on optics. A preliminary study with 8 students in the age range of 9 to 13 shows that the understanding of microscopy increases after working with the LEGO-microscope.

Since the design of the microscope presented here is only one of many possible configurations, customization is highly encouraged.