CLOSE
Original image
Foldscope via Kickstarter

You Can Now Buy Your Own Origami Microscope

Original image
Foldscope via Kickstarter

Inexpensive paper microscopes may be headed for a classroom near you—and you can buy one too. Several years ago, Stanford University researchers unveiled a microscope that can be built from a single piece of paper with an LED and a lens, allowing aspiring scientists to explore the micro world for less than a dollar. Now, a Kickstarter campaign is making Foldoscope’s technology available to consumers ahead of the product’s wider commercial release, as Popular Science reports.

The origami microscope comes with a glass lens that boasts a high enough magnification to see red blood cells and watch live bacteria, at 140 times magnification and a two-micron resolution. The Kickstarter kit comes with associated lab tools like microscope slides and tweezers. The Foldoscope is also compatible with a smartphone, so you can take videos and photos of the amazing stuff you see on those microscope slides, and the kit comes with a cellphone clip to make that process even easier.

Your kit won’t cost as little as $1, though. At the classroom scale, the company can sell the packs cheaply, but for individual consumers, the Kickstarter kits start around $18, reflecting the cost of the extra tools. However, teachers can currently buy 20 packs of microscopes for just $25, or you can donate the classroom kit to a school (scheduled for August 2017 delivery). The makers of Foldoscope hope to sell 1 million microscopes next year.

If you’re stingy, you can always use your own paper at home create a Foldoscope for free, but for most people, it’s easier to just shell out for the pre-folded kit. Regardless, see how the devices are made in the video below:
 

 
[h/t Popular Science]

Original image
Lebrel
arrow
Design
Watch an Artist Build a Secret Studio Beneath an Overpass
Original image
Lebrel

Artists can be very particular about the spaces where they choose to do their work. Furniture designer Fernando Abellanas’s desk may not boast the quietest or most convenient location on Earth, but it definitely wins points for seclusion. According to Co.Design, the artist covertly constructed his studio beneath a bridge in Valencia, Spain.

To make his vision a reality, Abellanas had to build a metal and plywood apparatus and attach it to the top of an underpass. After climbing inside, he uses a crank to wheel the box to the top of the opposite wall. There, the contents of his studio, including his desk, chair, and wall art, are waiting for him.

The art nook was installed without permission from the city, so Abellanas admits that it’s only a matter of time before the authorities dismantle it or it's raided by someone else. While this space may not be permanent, he plans to build others like it around the city in secret. You can get a look at his construction process in the video below.

[h/t Co.Design]

Original image
arrow
architecture
One of Frank Lloyd Wright's Final Residential Designs Goes on Sale in Ohio
Original image

In case you’ve missed the many recent sales of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed real estate, you have yet another chance to secure yourself a historical starchitect home. The Louis Penfield House is being sold by its original owners, and it could be yours for a cool $1.3 million. The restored Usonian home in Willoughby Hills, Ohio has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2003.

The house is currently a vacation rental and, depending on the preference of the new owner, it could continue to operate as a tourist destination. Or you could take it over as your private residence, which sounds pretty luxurious. It still has a floor-to-ceiling glass-walled living room that looks out on the Chagrin River, and comes with all the original furniture Wright designed. Like Wright’s other Usonian homes, it has a radiant-floor heating system that draws on a natural gas well onsite.

A retro-looking living room features floor-to-ceiling windows.
A bedroom is filled with vintage wooden furniture.

Around the same time as the original commission, Louis and Pauline Penfield also asked Wright to create another house on an adjacent property, and that home would prove to be the architect’s final residential design. It was still on the drawing board when he died unexpectedly in 1959. The sale of the Penfield House includes the original plans for the second house, called Riverrock, so you’d be getting more like 1.5 Frank Lloyd Wright houses. Seems like a pretty good deal to us.

All images via Estately

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios