Tag Archives: Microscope

Make your own portable handphone microscope

Next in line, the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 would like to introduce another workshop “Make your own portable handphone microscope”.

In this workshop, participants will be presented with a number of simple and cheap lens-bearing tools such as door-viewers and loupe, as well as small mirrors, LED torch lights, etc. Some of these could be taken apart and put together to create a new optical toy. According to the workshop facilitators, the main goal of this workshop is to create a microscope that could be easily fixed to your handphone. There will be handphones and webcams for use at the workshop but participants are strongly encouraged to bring your own camera phones that you would like to transform as you will be able to take your device home.

Food for thought: – How much can we enlarge our image? How good is the image? How do we use light? If the magnification is big, how do we hold the microscope?

Camera microscope

So, who are the brains behind this workshop?

There are a total of three persons behind this workshop:- Isabelle Desjeux, Marlou Jasmin Madrio and Leonardus Adi Prasetya Suherlan. Interestingly, the three of them got to know each other only during the briefing session for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 and the idea to conduct this combined workshop came out of this session! Leonardus even shared a pretty animated (though short) account of how it happened. :P

About Isabelle Desjeux

Isabelle Desjeux: artist (Masters in Fine Arts), scientist (PhD in Molecular Biology) and arts educator (Isadora’s Workshop).

Isabelle is a full-time artist whose art deals with the reality of working in a lab, blurring the boundary between the two fields. In her spare time, Isabelle also runs an art workshop that teaches kids to draw realistically, and observe the world around them. Her ultimate goal is to make children naturally enquire and ask questions.  

What inspired her?

Isabelle was exploring making portable microscopes for her new “Art and Science” space (L ‘Observatoire) and found that there are many things that one could learn from playing with lenses and cheap cameras. Hence, she thought it would be fun for children to have a go at making their own microscopes too! Besides making microscopes, she is also exploring projecting the images for participants to be able to share what they see down the microscope, in a simple and affordable manner. With the recent craze about the transit of Venus, she also started playing around with lucida-type of camera devices to explore better way of seeing and recording the world around us.

Her word of advice

For makers, Isabelle advised that it is good to be ready to adapt any “recipe” you find according to what you have. She found it useful to seek resources from the internet, to find other people who might have the solution to your question, and improvise from there.

For “teachers”, Isabelle felt that one need not give specific instructions. On the other hand, she felt that it would be better to present your “students” with an open problem, some materials and tools. She highlighted the importance to be open about the outcome, and not to be fixated at getting a specific end-product. That way, people have the necessary “play space” and “play time” to come up with interesting stuffs!

On the maker scene in Singapore, Isabelle encourages everyone to keep an open eye on what people throw away as there is always a way to transform what other people do not want!

What’s next?

Isabelle shared that this workshop will probably be incorporated into the activities for her new “Art and Science” space, where tinkering will happen once a month.

About Marlou Jasmin Madrio

Marlou (better known as Marl) is a Systems Engineer working for NCS Pte Ltd, and had a myriad of career experience before moving to Singapore.

What inspired him?

Marl’s account of his life is a testimonial to his in-born maker spirit. Like Ken, the previous maker we introduced, Marl attributed his building passion to the encouragement of his father, whom he proudly shared was a talented automotive mechanic.

Marl reminisced fondly about his High School days when he built things when he couldn’t afford one. In Secondary School, Marl was already an electronics hobbyist. It was then when he already built his first Stereo Audio Power Amplifier which gave him and his family years of enjoyment. He also recalled his College days when he had the time of his life building a Jalopy of a Race Car which was a thrill to drive in. It also brought him fond memories of his late father building this car with him and attending races with him.

Making things in Singapore

In Singapore, he is avidly pursuing IT and open source.

Last year, he built a Lab Bench Power Supply for the Arduino, Phidgets and Beaglebone microcontroller platform. He also has an Arduino Mega microcontroller which he intended to use to build a trans esterification system for converting waste vegetable oil to bio-diesel because he love working on cars.

Marl also shared that he would like to start a “HomeBrew Club” in Singapore one day.

However, Marl said he had recently sidetracked to IT innovations both for his personal pursuits and for his work. For example, he is keen on Internet of Things (IoT) where everyday devices meet internet connectivity. He cited the example of modifying a washing machine to recover grey water which could then be used for flushing the toilet and to make the machine tweet you “your wash is done, Sir”. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

However, because he is pursuing these as a hobby, finances would be a hindrance. Marl wish to eventually own his own lab or workshop, which I guess would be the dream of most Makers.

His word of advice

Marl’s sense is that there is not much Maker culture here in Singapore. He is saddened by the fact that youths he met have no interest in making (including those who were taking Design & Technology programme) despite having access to tools and machineries.

Marl would like to advise all budding Makers to pursue their hobby with passion and a purpose. He felt that if a hobby can help to make this world a better place, it would be good for everyone.

Read more about Marl here.

About Leonardus Adi Prasetya Suherlan

Leo is an NUS Electrical Engineering student from Indonesia. His favourite tools are penknives and cellotapes (which he said can fix half of the problems around the block :P).

What inspired him?

Leo mentioned that he was inspired to do DIY work from his frequent trips to his Uncle’s place where he would be invited to build stuffs, from a telescope to a wooden gun to a clock that ran backwards. He grew up with the belief that one can make anything that one can imagine.

Leo joined the Mini Maker Faire with the intention to meet other Makers. He felt that since he shifted to Singapore, he had not been making. Hence, he seemed pleased to share that NUS has now started a Tinkering Club for student makers to meet, discuss and help each other with their projects.

Leo felt that there are many creative people in Singapore but there are not much platforms for these people to showcase their work. He felt there could be more competitions or Maker Faires to facilitate the Maker movement.

His word of advice

Leo’s word of advice to other budding Makers is to just start making. He suggested the website http://www.instructables.com for those with less confidence.

Isabelle, Marl and Leo are all looking forward to see the first Singapore Mini Maker Faire and meet other Makers.You may also check out Isabelle’s blog which also talked about the workshop. The workshop is chargeable at a fee of $5 per participant, payable on the spot as you register for the workshop. There are limited places for up to 10 participants for each day, so do register early when you are there!