I was excited to see @prakashlab and their ingenious Foldscope featured in a New Yorker article and rushed to assemble my own.
I was intimidated when I first received my Foldscope a month or so ago, thinking it was going to be fragile and difficult to construct. The author of the article stated that it took her about 15 minutes to assemble hers, which relieved me. Additionally, the material from which the Foldscope is constructed, some type of "plasticized" paper(?), resisted tearing yet allowed for easy creasing where it needed to be folded. Laser cut with minute tabs keeping it together as a sheet, all the parts as well as parts to assemble slides are easily removed intact. I love that they did not skimp on aesthetics: the illustration on the top of the Foldscope captures the idea of magnification beautifully.
Indeed, it did not take long to assemble the Foldscope. The lens was a little difficult to keep in place and although the instructions did not say to do so, I held my lens in place with a piece of cellophane tape so I did not knock it loose each time I inserted a slide.
I still need to register my Foldscope. I am going to use my old iPhone with the magnets in order to take photos of what I am magnifying. So far I have tried to magnify things too large: a pine needle and a carrot peel. It is time to go much smaller! Perhaps on my next walk I will find some good samples.