USB Microscope yields new tool

Every once in a while the beams align while making and a surprise outcome is realized!

I set out to buy a USB microscope and follow the lead of some others to use this for focussing my laser diode engraver.

After some research, I chose this unit;

It worked right out of the box (connects like a webcam) including my Windows PC and Android phone.

It came with a nice zipper case, holder, software disk, USB adapter, and graticule.

I was happy with the image it created and even if it does not end up being the best way to measure focus I will use it for electronics projects and measuring images.

PC connection

Android connection

Then an interesting thing happened. I got an email from the seller offering me a deal. Write a 5star review and they would send me a free metal microscope stage.

I had been here many times before. Write a review and then the promised thing never arrives.
This was different. I was ok writing a 5 review because I was very happy with the unit. I let the seller know by sending a screenshot of the review and then to my shock and awe … the thing arrived.

It really was made of metal. In fact, it was well made not the plastic junk you usually get for free!

Then here is where the beams aligned.
I had been sketching up a design for a tool to help properly insert plastic fasteners. My manual soldering iron approach had gotten painstaking and never resulted in a straight insert.
Then it hit me that I could use this microscope stage to install heat inserts using a woodburning iron I already had and this new stage.

After making an adapter for the iron and turning threaded heads that fit all sizes of my inserts I had a new tool.

An example head … heh needs some cleanup!

Go figure!


That’s great. Looks like the stand costs the same as the microscope on Amazon.

Are you cranking down the “focus” knob on the stand to push the insert?

@donkjr You just magnified the reason why reading this forum can be hazardous to your pocketbook!

Even though I have a standalone microscope, this will be a great addition to my workbench since I added the PC and now have a large monitor available.


@HalfNormal glad to add to your tool box and help you spend your money … like you have done for me many times :slight_smile: !


Yes, I wait until the insert is hot and then gently rotate the racks knob to insert it. You have to be careful or the head will melt into the surface. Thinking of adding a heat barrier above the insert.

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Nice idea.
I have a minidrill (dremel equivalent) stand that could perhaps be used in a similar way.

For added featuritis (or if you don’t have a conveniently spare soldering iron) a 3d printer extruder (complete with temperature controller) could be used to make one operate at the perfect temperature (whatever that is).