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FAQs

We have answered to some of the popular FAQs, particularly on the Foldscope. If you have any other questions, you are requested to kindly reach out to orders@gubbilabs.in

FAQs on Foldscope

If your questions are not listed below please check the official Foldscope page for some additional FAQs: https://www.foldscope.com/faq

A. About the Foldscope

  1. What is a Foldscope?
    A Foldscope is an origami-based paper microscope with magnification and resolution comparable to that of a conventional microscope and in some cases better than a conventional microscope. It is a tool for all ages and anyone with a curious mind will love it. It has been used as an educational tool for students and as a research/application tool for professionals and finds application in several fields from biology, ecology, agriculture, engineering, banking and education.
    More information: https://www.foldscope.com/

  2. What is its magnification?
    The ball lens on the foldscope gives you an optical magnification of 140x and a 2-micron resolution. This combined with the digital magnification of a smartphone’s camera (10x) can give a resulting magnification of 1400x.

  3. Does it tear/wear out easily?
    It is made of tear-resistant paper, so it will last you for a long time provided you use it with care.

  4. How durable it is as it is made of paper?
    The Foldscope is very durable for use at home, lab or in the field. It can withstand falls from a 3-storey building or stepped on, and will still continue to work.

  5. What happens if water spills on it? Is it waterproof?
    Just wipe it off with a cloth and continue using it. The Foldscopes are made of waterproof paper and can withstand spills.

  6. I don’t know how to assemble. Where can I find help?
    There is a detailed instruction sheet on how to assemble the Foldscope, which is included in the deluxe kit. Additionally, this video by the Foldscope team shows a step-by-step demo on how to assemble the Foldscope.

  7. Do you conduct any workshops for assembling the foldscope? If yes, when and where?
    Yes, we conduct regular workshops on Foldscope assembly and usage. Please contact orders@gubbilabs.in for more information regarding this.

  8. Where can I reach out for any support on Foldscope?
    Please reach out to us if you need any support on the product. If you need additional support on usage, sample collection, identification and methods, Foldscope has an active community of users on its platform microcosmos.foldscope.com, where you could post your queries.

  9. Is there a warranty on this?
    No, there is no warranty on this, but with the proper care and usage, you should be able to use it for many years without any issues.

  10. I have received a damaged one, what should I do?
    Please send us a photo of the damaged product with details to orders@gubbilabs.in. We will send you a replacement if it meets the criteria.

  11. I need additional parts like the light module. Where can I find it?
    The additional parts such as led light module, magnetic couplers and batteries can be purchased from www.foldscope.com.

  12. How do I take care of my Foldscope?
    From our team’s experience of using it for over a year, we have come up with a list of things to do to maintain your Foldscope:
    • Always keep it inside the box while carrying it in a bag.
    • Be careful while mounting glass slides, as the edges can be sharp and increase the size of the slit meant for placing the slides.
    • Always remove the slide (especially glass slides) from the Foldscope once you’re done observing the sample.
    • Clean the lens regularly with the thin cotton ear bud provided in the deluxe kit.
    • Wipe off any fluid which falls on the Foldscope while mounting slides with samples.

B. Pricing of Foldscope


  1. Why does this cost ₹ 4000, while in the US it is $ 40 only?
    The Foldscope is currently only available in India through resellers who import the products from Foldscope Instruments. The extra amount is owing to the importing/shipping costs, customs costs of about 28%, GST of 18%, and courier charges to the customer’s address.

  2. They say it is a US $ 1 microscope but you are selling it at a very high price. Why?
    The cost of the raw materials for manufacturing the Foldscope (paper, lens, magnetic coupler, etc) amount to $1 but as with running any company, there are a lot of other costs, salaries and taxes incurred before the final product is made. In addition, importing this to India attracts a Customs duty & GST of almost 28%. And then there are costs related to Shipping (to India) and Insurance, besides storage and other logistics. So practically it will cost more. The Deluxe Kit, in addition to the Foldscope itself, has a lot of extra accessories which can be used to collect samples and prepare slides even in the field.

  3. Are there any discounts available?
    We provide discounts of 10% for our course/workshop participants, interns, volunteers, collaborators and clients. If you have been associated with us in the past and would like to avail the discount, please write to us briefly describing your association to orders@gubbilabs.in

  4. What are the differences between a Deluxe Individual Kit (DIK) / BCK / LCK?
    The Deluxe Individual Kit is designed to allow any curious explorer to perform microscopy experiments anywhere at any time. This kit comes in a portable and sturdy metal case and includes a plethora of accessories for collecting samples, processing samples and preparing slides. For each deluxe individual kit purchased, one Foldscope will be donated to a student that lacks access to a microscope.

    The Classroom Kits are designed to provide large numbers of Foldscopes at the lowest cost, Classroom Kits are ideal for educators and projects looking to cater to groups of explorers! The Large Classroom Kit (LCK) gives you the scale and flexibility to work with groups in a number of different ways. The kit contains 100 sets of the essentials (Foldscope sheets and lenses, cell phone couplers, instruction sheets, carrying pouch, paper and tape slides), and 20 sets accessories (see list below). This balance keeps the kit more affordable while allowing students to work in groups to take advantage of shared accessories that will greatly increase their capabilities for performing more careful and advanced experiments.

    For those looking to get the most for their dollar, the Basic Classroom Kit (BCK) can be worthwhile. The Basic Classroom Kit is designed to supply a group of 20 explorers with a Foldscope for each person. Each student receives the essentials (Foldscope, cell-phone coupler, assembly/instruction sheet, carrying pouch, and paper slides), and some accessories are provided collectively to be shared amongst the entire class.

    However, at the moment, we are only importing Deluxe Individual Kit. We will notify once when we have the Classroom Kits available. In case you are looking it large quantities, please do get in touch with us at orders@gubbilabs.in.

  5. What do we do with Profits?
    Every time you buy a deluxe research kit; you are supporting the basic classroom kits that are deployed in communities around the world “at cost” by Foldscope Instruments, Inc. Thanks for supporting our vision for a microscope for every child.

    Further, with Gubbi Labs, the profits would actually fund our costs (including salaries) for research, bird monitoring and other citizen science work we do. In addition, this would be used to fund costs in communicating science (pay writers who contribute for https://ResearchMatters.in).