The miniscope system is consists of a machined plastic housing, custom Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), and off the shelf components. This guide will take you through the process of ordering everything you need to build a system of your own.
Head Mounted Scope
Machined Housing Parts
The design files for all parts that need to be machined can be found here: File:ScopeMachinedParts.zip. We have included both the Solidworks files as well as exported each part as a .stl.
The three housing components (MainBody, FocusingSlider, FilterSetCover) are CNC machined out of Delrin plastic. While the parts themselves are not too complex, their small size and thin walls makes them tricky to machine. Your campus machine shop should be able to machine these parts for you but generally this will take longer and be significantly more expensive than sending the parts out for machining.
Shylo Stiteler is a local machinist that is very familiar with our project. You can contact Shylo by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, with the parts you need machined. His work is very reasonably priced, quick, and consistent.
We also should mention Protolabs for general machining projects. They are very quick and reliable but will not machine parts with wall thickness under 1mm. This means they won't be able to machine the majority of scope parts without added addition mass.
Machined Aluminum Baseplate
The design file for the Baseplate can also be found here: File:ScopeMachinedParts.zip. Similar to what is stated above, this part can likely be machined by your local machine shop but we recommend getting the part machined by Shylo Stiteler's company, email@example.com.
The optical components in the microscope are all off the shelf components which generally have less than a week lead time to arrive.
- Diced filter set
- We use Chroma filters sets in all our scopes but have also had success with Semrock and Omega Optical filters. All three of these companies will dice their standard filters to what ever size you need. The filter set and dice dimensions we use can be found on our parts list, and you can contact Dick Stewart <firstname.lastname@example.org> for a price quote.
- Internal lenses
- Both the half-ball lens and achromatic lens can be purchased through Edmund Optics. Part numbers can be found on our parts list.
- GRIN lenses
- Acquiring GRIN lenses may prove a bit more complicated than acquiring the rest of the components in our system. For this reason we have a dedicated GRIN lens page on this topic.
CMOS Imaging Sensor PCB
The necessary files for fabrication and assembly of the CMOS imaging sensor PCB can be found here: File:CMOSImagingSensor.zip.
While it is possible to assemble this PCB yourself, we suggest most labs send it out to a professional assembly house. For both fabrication and assembly we recommend using Sierra Circuits. The gerber files and board information document are needed for fabrication. The BOM (Bill of Materials) file and PnP (Pick and Place) file are needed for assembly. Generally PCB assembly houses can provide turnkey services which means they will not only assembly the PCB but also handle ordering all the individual components for a small markup.
In order to minimize the size of this PCB, buried vias and two sided assembly are used which results in a higher production costs than more standard boards. When getting a price quote we suggest asking for pricing at a few different quantities (5, 10, 20 boards). At these small quantities there is usually a range of quantities where the overall price remains practically the same for fabricating and assembly more boards.
- IMPORTANT: Ordering the Imaging Sensor: All electrical components can be easily purchased through Digikey except for the imaging sensor. You should order the imaging sensor yourself and send it in to be assembled. The CMOS imaging sensor used is the Aptina (or OnSemiconductor) MT9V032C12STM and can be found through Arrow Electronics or Aliexpress.
Excitation LED PCB
Design and fabrication files can be found at the Miniscope Excitation LED PCB GitHub Repository. The technology needed to fabrication this board is much simpler than what is needed for the CMOS imaging sensor PCB and DAQ PCB. For this reason we suggest using the 'PCB Production' option through [Silver Circuits]. You can upload the gerber files directly to their site for a price quote but we suggest emailing them to get a better deal.
- Number of layers: 2
- Substrate: 0.031” FR4
- Board width: 5mm
- Board height: 7.5mm
- Copper weight: 1oz (not important)
- Surface: HASL or ENIG (not important)
- Board shape: Custom
- Cutouts: None
- Solder mask color: Black
- Sinkscreen layers: Bottom
- Sinkscreen color: White
- Electrical Test: Not required
- Routing: Either individual or panalized with v-scores
- Ask to get them panelized on 4"x5" PCBs
You can reference Order #6364 in your price quote request.