Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Head Crash At 50μm

Here's how it works so far. Getting the Z height dialled in is tricky, and I can no longer really see what I'm doing - I'm looking for a spot of light coming through the Sharpie layer on the slide. I have moved to a different marker pen which has a much finer grain to the ink.

So this image shows a trail of Z height adjustment leading up to a 50μm square with a line drawn in the middle of it (actually a 20/30μm split). Note that the Z height is moving within the thickness of a layer of Sharpie ink as I guide it in. Probe tip appears to be about 5μm.

Then disaster. I switch from 0.001mm steps to 0.1mm steps to guide the probe out of the way, go the wrong direction on Z, and plough into the slide. The huge gash resulting (top right) is about the thickness of a human hair. The image was taken on a turret microscope after I removed the slide. My best USB macro camera has a fraction of that magnification, and I'm working on a new mount to get it closer. I'm guiding the Z height initially by looking at a side view from another USB macro camera. I'll post a picture of the setup when I fire it up next.

Upside: I'm now showing a feature 20μm in size, which beats the resolution of a high-end resin printer if I can keep it up.

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