We’ve covered a lot of confocal imaging systems on this blog, as those tend to be the real bank breakers, but have a look at this beautifully compact TIRF platform: the LiteTIRF. The website includes software, a thorough components list, and a neat little CAD drawing to show you how everything goes together. The components list comes out to “just” 20,000 Euro, which is a lot by graduate student stipend standards, but a pittance by microscope cost standards.
Alexander Auer, Thomas Schlichthaerle, Johannes Woehrstein, Florian Schueder, Maximilian Strauss, Heinrich Grabmayr and Ralf Jungmann have a paper from September 2018 using the microscope for super-resolution imaging.
Plus, the CAD drawing has doge on it, so you know a lot of love went into this design.