Open-source microscope for carbon fiber analysis in composite printing

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Thomas, Annika
Smith, Nicholas

Thomas, Annika, Smith, Nicholas. Open-source microscope for carbon fiber analysis in composite printing. -- Fyre in STEM Showcase, 2021.


The purpose of open-source microscopy is to enable laboratories to have the power of microscopy at a reduced cost and with lower maintenance. Open-source microscopy also allows for a broader range of customization so the microscope can fit into the laboratory in which it will be utilized. Open-source microscopes have typically been used in biology or chemistry settings. This microscope will be used for examining different properties of carbon fibers in composite 3D prints. I will be building the OpenFlexure Microscope. The OpenFlexure Microscope is constructed with 3D printed parts, a Raspberry Pi, a Raspberry Pi camera module, various lenses, and objectives. This open-source microscope will use reflection illumination to capture its images since composite prints are not transparent. The open-source microscope will eventually be tested by observing 3D printed composites under its lens. By using reflection illumination, the microscope should be able to see the carbon fibers within cross sections of carbon fiber in composite prints. By piecing images of the carbon fibers together, the properties of the carbon fibers and print can be measured.

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Poster and abstract presented at the FYRE in STEM Showcase, 2021.
Research project completed at the Department of Aerospace Engineering.