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Tech Showcase: Great Magnifications

March 30, 2010
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Using the right microscope will help to uncover the details behind your testing process.

The microscope integrates a high-performance Mantis Elite-Cam. Source: Vision Engineering Ltd.


Microscopes offer the ability to see beyond the naked eye. And, with this ability, the operator is able to test the results of materials at a great magnification. After a series of nondestructive tests is done, it is vital to see the results and check the exterior of the object. And, as the object being tested may either be too small, or the area being examined might yield a tiny crack, it is important to use the right kind of microscope to check the results. The details are important.

Light plays an important factor in viewing the materials. LED lights provide the operator with an opportunity to magnify the object at a greater rate. This in turn provides a detailed picture of any inconsistencies within the test. Depending on the number of lights, magnification can be increased or reduced.

Microscopes offer a variety of imaging techniques. Methods such as differential interface contrast allow the microscope to enhance the contrast in unstained, transparent samples. Brightfield reflection, on the other hand, is used to examine opaque specimens, which will not transmit light. Different techniques help the operator achieve different results.

Attaching a camera to the microscope assists in the image capture. Depending on the size or desired results, the operator can capture the image in a variety of resolutions, and can even simultaneously view the object while taking pictures.

Integrating the microscope with computer software opens up new avenues of reading the data. Certain microscopes come with USB ports allowing the microscope to sync with computer software. This method allows the results from the microscope to transmit into the software. There the operator is able to save images, video and time-lapsed video from the test. They will be able to go back later and get an accurate recreation of the material.

Details are important, and microscopes help the operator hone in on the accuracy. Using 3-D imaging, the microscope is able to produce an accurate creation of the object being viewed.

The products vary from handheld to stereomicroscopes, and offer a wide range of attributes. Whether the operator is looking for something with a camera, or something to enhance the 3-D accuracy of the microscope, the instruments have a lot to offer. Lenses, as well as high-tech computer systems and programs, add to the range and accuracy of these items.

What follows are microscope offerings available today.

Olympus introduces the LEXT OLS4000 laser measuring microscope, designed for nanometer level imaging and accurate measurement. Source: Olympus America



Olympus America Scientific Equipment Group/Industrial Microscopes(www.olympusamerica.com/LEXT) introduces the LEXT OLS4000 laser measuring microscope, designed for nanometer level imaging and accurate measurement. With magnification power ranges from 108X to 17,280X and a 120 nanometer XY resolution and 10 nanometer Z resolution, the LEXT OLS4000 provides 3-D accuracy specification.

The microscope also includes a laser and a dual confocal system. This allows the system to image and measure 85-degree slopes and image parts with multiple reflectivity levels

The microscope integrates a high-performance Mantis Elite-Cam. Source: Vision Engineering Ltd.

Vision Engineering Ltd. (www.visioneng.com) introduces the Mantis stereomicroscope. This microscope integrates a high-performance Mantis Elite-Cam. This camera allows operators to capture images for reporting, cataloguing and communicating with colleagues and customers. The ease and flexibility of this ensures the image is reported correctly and easily.

The permanently engaged digital camera permits simultaneous optical viewing, while ensuring that all viewing is done digitally. The Elite-Cam requires little configuration or adjusting. Essentially, the company has worked out a way for operators to virtually plug and play. Once everything is set up, there is no lag time to capture the image.

Image capture options comprise a variety of formats, including BMP, JPEG and PNG. The microscope connects through a USB 2.0 in conjunction with its PC-based software.

The Dino-Lite microscope is a handheld digital microscope with a high speed USB interface. Source: Big C

Big C (www.bigc.com) introduces the Dino-Lite microscope, a handheld digital microscope with a high speed USB interface. It comes with eight built-in LED lights that provide lighting for high magnification images.

The Dino-Lite has a variable magnification of up to 200X, which is magnified by the built in LED lights. DinoCapture software is included with the microscope, allowing operators to save images, video and time-lapsed video. Other features of the software include annotations and measurement specifics.



The MF-UC Series provides optical imaging techniques that range from reflected brightfield to differential interference contrast. Source: Mitutoyo America Corp.

Mitutoyo America Corp. (www.mitutoyo.com) introduces the MF-UC Series. This series provides optical imaging techniques, ranging from reflected brightfield to differential interference contrast. In addition, the MF-UC Series has selection of six high precision, measuring transmitted light stage surfaces. The light surfaces transmit from 50 by 50 millimeters to 400 by 200 millimeters.

On top of the light stage offering, the product includes a wide variety of optional accessories. Some of these accessories include a vision unit and various digital charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras.

The ProScope HR and HR2 are the fourth and fifth generations of the first USB microscopes. Source: Bodelin Technologies Inc.

Bodelin Technologies Inc. (www.bodelin.com) introduces the ProScope HR and HR2. The microscopes are the fourth and fifth generations of the first USB microscopes. Both are USB video class (UVC) plug and play, streaming true high resolution up to 1600 by 1200.

The lenses range up to 1000X, but can adapt to analog microscopes and the Gradient Lens line of borescopes. Free image capture software and three types of measurement software are available. ProScopes have a two year warranty and a 30 day, no questions asked return.

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