We present a new design for a confocal rheoscope that enables uniform uniaxial or biaxial shear. The design consists of two precisely positioned parallel plates with a gap that can be adjusted down to 2 ±0.1 μm, allowing for the exploration of confinement effects. By using our shear cell in conjunction with a biaxial force measurement device and a high-speed confocal microscope, we are able to measure the real-time biaxial stress while simultaneously imaging the material three-dimensional structure. We illustrate the importance of the instrument capabilities by discussing the applications of this instrument in current and future research topics in colloidal suspensions. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.