Illuminating nature's beauty : modular, scalable and low-cost LED dome illumination system using 3D-printing technology

Presenting your research in the proper light can be exceptionally challenging. Meanwhile, dome illumination systems became a standard for micro- and macrophotography in taxonomy, morphology, systematics and especially important in natural history collections. However, proper illumination systems are either expensive and/or laborious to use. Nowadays, 3D-printing technology revolutionizes lab-life and will soon find its way into most people's everyday life. Consequently, fused deposition modelling printers become more and more available, with online services offering personalized printing options. Here, we present a 3D-printed, scalable, low-cost and modular LED illumination dome system for scientific micro- and macrophotography. We provide stereolithography ('.stl') files and print settings, as well as a complete list of necessary components required for the construction of three differently sized domes. Additionally, we included an optional iris diaphragm and a sliding table, to arrange the object of desire inside the dome. The dome can be easily scaled and modified by adding customized parts, allowing you to always present your research object in the best light.

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