We're working on simpler and cheaper ways to make good DIY microscopes, working from this @partsandcrafts recommendation -- on this Hackteria page: https://hackteria.org/wiki/Laser-cut_microscopy_stages#LifePatch_DIY_WebCam_Microscope_Stage
Following up on this post, we'd like to use the same shape for both plates to simplify things, and I was able to drill holes in 2 plates of acrylic with a power drill:
I used a 5/16" bit and a 3/4" paddle bit to cut these, on a drill press, but you could do it with a hand drill too if you clamp things down well.
I also like this because you could do it with wood or masonite as well, pretty easily, although we may ultimately lasercut these.
Here are the lasercut files, including one we prepared for Ponoko.com, although that ended up being ~$18 per pair of plates, so not at all affordable!
We used 6" long, 1/4"-20 bolts and plastic wingnuts to assemble it, and actually skipped the springs from the above design for simplicity. This worked with just a $3 webcam double-sided-foam-taped to the microscope adapter we're using from the OpenFlexure Microscope project!
And remarkably, we're able to clearly photograph 2 micron wide ruler markings! Faster, cheaper, better, stronger! (well, maybe not stronger)