An anonymous contributor wrote in about making laser shutters using hard disk drive rotary voice-coil actuators. The contributor’s lab has made a couple of these which are controlled via an Arduino, at a much lower cost than shutters from Thorlabs or similar. If that first paper doesn’t have you convinced, here’s another one.
Need some cheap optical filters? Consider theater lighting filters. They even come in wonderful sampling packs!
These are used in the 3D printed microscope described in our Tiny Florescence Microscopy post, and there’s been plenty of people using this trick over the years so your not going into uncharted territory just to save a few dollars. Rosco even has this great website you can use which will give you the transmission spectra of the filter you choose. You’ll notice a little spectra in the bottom right of the app.
Thinking about light sheet microscopy? Openspim.org gives you fantastically detailed assembly instructions to create your very own Selective Plane Illumination Microscope.
Credit to Dr. Guillaume Duclos for pointing this resource out. Don’t forget to check out the paper on this project put out by Peter Pitrone, Johannes Schindelin, Luke Stuyvenberg, Stephan Preibisch, Michael Weber, Kevin Eliceiri, Jan Huisken, and Pavel Tomancak
Need some equipment to hold and align your fancy optical components? Consider 3D printing some components from a Thingiverses’ Open Source Optics library made by Joshua Pearce.
This is particularly worth it for something like a filter wheel! Check out this table from an article by Chenlong Zhang, Nicholas Anzalone, Rodrigo Faria, and Joshua Pearce