DIY: Stargaze with the cheap yet powerful Pikon 3D printed telescope
Those of you who are interested in astronomy, and the mystery of this galaxy never seizes to amaze you, just by looking at the seamless sea of stars up above, telescope is the best tool to have. Those who can afford to buy expensive telescopes get lucky enough to have a closer view of the celestial bodies and take some pictures. But those who can’t afford expensive telescopes can just hope to buy them some day. That is about to change as researchers at the University of Sheffiled, UK have managed to 3D print a telescope called Pikon using cheap, basic material that is accessible to anyone.
You’ll be surprised to know that it cost them just €100 (USD $163) to make and it is as powerful as the industrial telescopes that cost almost 10 times that amount. This telescope with 160 times the magnification is made using a simple Newtonian design that has mirror and a Raspberry Pi computer module. The mirror focuses the image onto the camera and thereby produces crisp images of celestial bodies.
Apparently, the telescope was unveiled as a part of the science festival in the city and captured images of the moon’s surface with extreme close-ups. Thankfully, the instructions and code for making this 3D printed telescope will be soon up on Thingiverse for download and you can make you own powerful telescope with it!
Physicist Mark Wrigley said
We hope that one day this will be seen on a par with the famous Dobsonian ‘pavement’ telescopes, which allowed hobbyists to see into the night skies for the first time. This is all about democratizing technology, making it cheap and readily available to the general public.