Sure, you could just buy one of the many, more capable, ready-made, USB microscopes, but if you're lacking for geek cred, you can also build your own with nothing more than a webcam and a lens salvaged from a CD or DVD drive. This hack courtesy of Kalanda is about as simple as can be, just carefully remove the tiny lens from your optical drive and affix it in place on the webcam with some cardboard and tape (they apparently didn't remove the webcam's lens). The lens is able to double as a microscope because of its very short focal length, which proved to be just right for getting disturbingly close shots of the intrepid DIY-er's hand. We're building one right now, too, because we've been having a hell of time keeping track of our micro-dice during those regular after-work craps games.

[Via Make]

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Webcam + CD-ROM lens = instant microscope