Science Technology
How-To: Operate a Homemade Scanning Electron Microscope

When we last checked in on Ben Krasnow’s homemade SEM, he had just achieved his first successful image with the device. As his latest video shows, the project has come a long way since then. It’s a long clip, by internet standards, at almost 10 minutes, but Ben does a great job of communicating what he’s doing and why, taking us through each step in the imaging process, from loading the sample, through pumping down the vacuum chamber and powering up the electronics, to fine-tuning the image itself. Which looks great, by the way–even after making the trip to Maker Faire and back.

This is only the most recent in a series of truly outstanding projects from Ben. Check out the links below for some of our past coverage of his work, and Ben’s personal blog for new updates.



I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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