Foldscope – A Paper Microscope for Less Than $1?


When the phrases “Origami” or “3D Paper” are spoken, the natural response is to think about art; designs that are created for expression, commentary or physical beauty.

Here at 3D, we’re driven by both the art and the science that goes into making any dimensional paper product. That’s why we wanted to share the Foldscope, created by a team at Stanford University’s PrakashLab.

They’ve designed an “origami-based print-and-fold optical microscope” for global health and educational uses. It’s capable of providing 2,000x zoom, making it powerful enough to aid in the diagnosis of diseases, while costing less than one dollar to make due to its simplicity of design.

That’s the kind of out-of-the-box thinking we love. It’s paper surpassing the boundaries of art or marketing, for scientific and educational purposes. To learn more about Foldscope and their global efforts, visit, or check out their video on YouTube.

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