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We’ve covered Ben Krasnow’s awesome work here before. At last year’s Maker Faire, he showed off his liquid nitrogen generator (for which he won at least one Editor’s Blue Ribbon). Now he’s posted to his blog this latest project, a working DIY scanning electron microscope! It’s been months of work to get the scope together and to get a picture out of it, but he’s done it. Now he’s going to work on improving image resolution, and reducing noise. Congrats on this, Ben. Really impressive job. [Thanks, Robert Bruce Thompson!]

DIY scanning electron microscope

DIY liquid nitrogen generator

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.



  1. Jafar says:

    I don’t understand what would you use it for.

  2. Ronald Daley says:

    Just doing a search in what it takes to make a scanning electron Microscope. Thanks for posting the video. I’m 15 miles north of Boston MA.

  3. Robert Myklebust says:

    I have worked with electron beam instruments for 30 years. You should be aware that these instruments generate some high energy x-rays and the sample chamber should be shielded. Glass is not enough. For some targets you will need lead. Also, the hose from your mechanical pump is too small and too long for quickly getting a good vacuum. But otherwise a good job.