Foldable Spectrometry Starter Kit

New to [spectrometry](/wiki/spectrometry)? On a budget? Looking for something to introduce a group to spectrometry? You might like to try the **Papercraft Spectrometry Starter Kit**, a simple foldable paper spectrometer which you can attach to a smartphone or webcam. It’s made of paper to reduce cost and complexity, and is mainly intended as a low cost “introductory” or educational kit. ## Get a kit now You can use the PDF in the assembly instructions below or get a kit from the Public Lab store: Get a kit > **Update:** There's an updated version of this design available at [Papercraft Spectrometry Kit](/wiki/paper-spec) **** ## Purpose The resolution and stability (ability to hold a [wavelength calibration](/wiki/spectral-workbench-calibration)) of the spectrometer depend on how carefully you construct and store it. This kit is designed to be easy to assemble, and is not focused on precision or consistent measurements; it’s made of paper, and will crush if you put it in your pocket -- but it can be made out of easy-to-find materials and assembled in ~15 minutes. For a more rigid, robust device intended for more advanced work, check out the [Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit]( To improve it, see the related [upgrades](#Upgrades) and feel free to post your own improvements there. Most digital cameras can record light in the visible range, ~400-700 nanometers, so this determines the range of your device. The resolution is mainly limited by the resolution of the camera (and its focus!) and by the narrowness of the slit -- but measurements should be possible at better than 3 nanometers per pixel. See [limitations and goals](#Limitations+and+Goals) for more. ## Activities [activities:foldable-spec] **** ## Get involved in the next revision Have you made improvements to the kit? Share them as [an upgrade](#Upgrades) and we may get in touch to integrate your changes into the kit itself. ### Upgrades Have you added to your starter kit, improved it, or redesigned it? Show others how to take it to the next level by posting a build guide here: [upgrades:foldable-spec] Add your upgrade guide here Request or propose an upgrade _Upgrades should include a parts list and a step-by-step construction guide with photo documentation. See an example._ **** ## Frequently Asked Questions This section is for questions about the **Foldable Spectrometer Starter Kit**, specifically. For questions about spectrometry in general, [see this FAQ](/wiki/spectrometry#Frequently+Asked+Questions). Ask a question about the foldable spectrometer [notes:question:foldable-spec] **** ## Plans, materials, and what it takes to make one: ### Instructions See [this activity](/notes/abdul/10-19-2016/foldable-paper-spectrometer-instructions) for how to assemble your kit. **** ## Limitations and Goals This starter kit is a great way to begin learning about spectroscopy by building a simple one, but is not meant for quantitative research. Once you’ve mastered it, you can improve it with some of the [hardware mods](/wiki/spectrometry#Hardware+Mods) listed here, or to take it to the next level, see the [Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit](/wiki/desktop-spectrometry-kit-3-0) for a more robust platform to build on. Though it is specifically designed to be an “introductory” kit, there are a number of goals to work towards, and limitations which you can help to overcome in the current design. Intro-level kits play an important role in helping people build the skills they need to join in the project and improve these methods -- in building a large collaborative community around this project. **** ### Help improve it Again, this is a collaboratively designed kit -- help make it better! Some of the goals and challenges we’re still working on with this kit include: * the alignment between the foldable spectrometer and a smartphone or webcam is hard to keep consistent with soft materials like paper * assembly relies on careful gluing or taping -- could we make a glue-less tab-based version that’s still light tight? * the film-printed slit in the starter kit is really nice, but can be hard for someone to make on their own -- some tips on making your own slits would be helpful * a [wider spectrometer](/notes/warren/05-04-2016/tweaks-to-foldable-mini-spectrometer-design) would make a wider spectrum, which would be easier to capture a picture of * comparing spectra with different light sources, or between different devices, is not well explored ...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
jhondue123456 " " | Read more » 19 days ago
Ag8n "Take a look at the video for the standardization of the instrument. If I read it correctly, with a few changes in the software (they list the code..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
belkinsa "I built mine but haven't tested it yet as I need hunt down a CFL :frowning_face: .... " | Read more » about 2 years ago
liz "Thanks this is great! thank you @mdiego2798 " | Read more » over 2 years ago
bhamster "Oh no worries at all, @mdiego2798, thanks for the photos, they are helpful! Looking forward to seeing the spectra you're getting :smiley: " | Read more » over 2 years ago
mdiego2798 "Of course, sorry I didn't think about that. I just uploaded a couple of pictures of the spectrometer to help. As soon as possible I'll try to uploa..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
bhamster "Very neat, thanks so much for sharing @mdiego2798! Is there any chance you have a picture of the assembled spec? " | Read more » over 2 years ago
sheetrat67 " Eminence, Sheikh Muhammad Kazem Al-Khaqani, Lesson دروس حوزوية " | Read more » almost 4 years ago
aminagorge59 "nice post " | Read more » about 4 years ago
baophan448 "I did this! Thanks for the instrution! " | Read more » about 4 years ago
stevie "Hi, no worries, we can help you here. Is this the spectrometer you built? or did you build one..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
rebornteam0107 "Now a days there are so many people who are suffering from Knee Pain. This problem is most common in old age people. According to a survey, Cities ..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
ananyo2012 "Really a nice way to create a slit ! @warren Is it possible to adjust the slit in the same sheet as the spectrometer? The dimensions are pretty sma..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
ananyo2012 "Hey Jeff, Thanks for the reply. I will post my updates on replication. I see there are some Pi based upgrades as well. Curious about them as well ! " | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "Hi Ananyo!!! So good to see you! A4 or letter both work fine! They'll come out slightly different sizes but they both work. " | Read more » over 4 years ago
ananyo2012 "Hi, I am just starting to make the new version of the papercraft spectrometer. What is the ideal size of the paper over which it should be printed ..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "And here is one more; v2.0.10 which has a 0.375" margin on all sides: foldable-2.0.10.pdf foldable-2.0.10.svg foldable-reverse-2.0.10.svg " | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "And here is version 2.0.9, resized to fit on a 6.625" x 9.375" page, so it's 1.75" wide when assembled, instead of 2". This isn't ideal but it fits..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
joyofsoy "Here's the most recent version of the Papercraft Spectrometer, v2.0.8. This version includes more simplified text, updated links, and a second page..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
botho_willer "I did this! " | Read more » about 5 years ago
mimiss "I did this! " | Read more » about 5 years ago
sixtwo_037 "Yes it is possible to redesign it for two Gclub Royal cuvette at one time would just need to widen the area toward the spectrometer and double the ..." | Read more » over 5 years ago
warren "Here's a convenient page to print a black square on the back!" | Read more » about 6 years ago
UHF "DVDs work better with smaller track separation and therefore greater diffraction. " | Read more » about 6 years ago