Newtonian Raspberry Pi Telescope

This strikes me as something that would be fairly straightforward to make with a Glowforge:

Theirs is 3D printed, but I see no reason it couldn’t be laser cut out of acrylic or even wood. This would be great for my 3-year-olds, since they don’t really understand how to look through a telescope but being able to see the results on a screen would be amazing to them.


Cool! I liked the moon photos.


There is also the Ultrascope:

You need a 20"x30" bed to cut the laser parts. So that restricts construction as designed to Pro users.

Many of the 3D printed parts could be laser it I believe. It is possible they were aiming to restrict laser use on the assumption many people would have to pay for laser access. So only those parts well beyond normal 3D printer size were sent to laser work.


None of the 3D-printed parts seem particularly difficult to convert to laser. There are a few bits that might need redesigning, and a lot of stuff that would need multiple layers and glueup. But nothing fancy. If no one else is doing it, I might see if I can take a crack. (Not sure where you get 5" pvc pipe tho)

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5" aluminum HVAC duct would work just as well (and probably be lighter.)

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Do you think the ducting would work well structurally?

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For the length of this small of a telescope, it should be fine.
This is what I mean:
(turns out it’s steel, not aluminum, but still very lightweight.

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Don’t know about PVC but ABS is generally available in 5" diameter for DWV stacks.


A long time ago (in what feels like a galaxy far far away), my high school buddy built an Newtonian reflector using a concrete form tube from Home Depot as the main tube, spray painted matt black:

Back then, he hand grounded a (spherical, I’m assuming) mirror. Today, if I were to do this, I would go the route of spin-casting a parabolic surface by spinning a tub of epoxy resin on a constant rotation speed and waiting until the surface sets into a parabola, then silvering the surface using Tollen’s reagent:

From what I know about optics, I would suggest putting both the mirror and the raspberry pi camera on kinematic mounts. (See: for example.

-=- Terence


Very resourceful!

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The Ultrascope seems very adaptable to even a basic Glowforge, just by puzzle-piecing together larger pieces.


Is there any software that can take plans for large parts and intelligently divide them such that they’ll be printable on a smaller bed? I can see that being incredibly useful.


123d Make is a popular recommended bit of software around here.


The first PiKon telescope was printed on a Mendel90 3D printer built from a kit which I designed and supplied.