Introducing PUMA

The PUMA Foundation Microscope

We are proud to announce the release of our flagship product – the PUMA Foundation scope.

PUMA is an open source and totally portable, incredibly light-weight and highly customisable 3D printed multimodality microscope system with many optional modules that can allow a whole host of professional quality observational modes. It can be built as a DIY project but to give people a head start we have made the simplest configuration available as a ready made product.

Because there are no many different optional upgrade modules to chose from we only supply, as a whole functioning microscope, the simplest configuration possible – called the ‘Foundation scope’ (shown in the picture). This scope features manual focus, a mirror for illumination (no electronic lamp) and high quality professional optics: a x4 Plan Achromat RMS objective and a x10 wide field, high eye point, ocular (eyepiece) giving a total magnification of x40. However this is just the start – a ‘foundation’ from which you can build any of the advanced PUMA microscope configurations by adding optional extra modules.

Like any scientific instrument PUMA has limitations as well as advantages and we highly recommend you check out the details before making a purchase by consulting the following multimedia guides (clicking on any of the following links will open it in a new browser tab):

YouTube video ‘Introduction to PUMA’

Official PUMA GitHub page

Journal of Microscopy publication about PUMA

PDF PUMA Foundation Scope User’s Guide

While the foundation scope – as supplied from us – is configured for only low magnification observations with a single x4 objective, this can be easily interchanged via the RMS thread connection, for higher magnification objectives. The system uses professional standard RMS objectives with 160 or 170 mm mechanical tube length and 195 mm conjugate distance (such as those sold on this website).

You can use upto x100 oil immersion objectives – for a total magnication of x1000 – although for any objective with a magnification above 10x we recommend you upgrade to the optional Abbe condenser unit.

With various other optional upgrades you can make the scope perform advanced imaging modalities such as phase contrast, fluorescence microscopy, dark ground microscopy, etc. and there are even more advanced options with a portable augmented reality heads-up-display and spatial light modulator functions (follow the above links to learn more and see examples).

Over time we aim to bring more and more of these optional upgrade modules to you ready-made and available for purchase from so keep an eye on this website for the latest offerings. However, we cannot guarantee that any particular upgrade will be made commercially available through us but, remember that PUMA is an open source system using 3D printing so anyone with access to a 3D printer can build their own upgrade modules (and even whole microscopes) using the CAD files and specifications available on the official PUMA GitHub page and with the help of video tutorials posted on the official PUMA Microscope YouTube channel.