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3D Printing Your Own Camera Accessories

I am a gadget man. I at all times respect something that may make my life simpler, safer, or extra pleasant. After I lately acquired a Kywoo3D Tycoon 3D printer, I believed it could be a superb time to make my images life simpler.

One disadvantage of utilizing a tripod gimbal head is that you want to use a nodal rail for lenses that do not have a lens foot. I preserve two in my digicam bag, however I often do not wish to take my bag with me on brief outings.

After I do not take my bag with me, I’ve to ensure to seize a spare battery, a nodal rail, my tripod, and my digicam. Having the nodal rail and battery with me means I should take care of issues in my pockets. Giant gadgets in your pockets are likely to fall out simpler once you squat or sit.

For a very long time, I’ve wished to get or make a mount for my nodal rail, and I’ve searched excessive and low for a industrial 37mm clamp to fulfill my wants for the nodal rail mount, however I couldn’t discover something even near what I wished.

The Nodal Rail Mount

So, I designed a bracket that holds my nodal rail and snaps onto my tripod leg. I used to be studying each CAD and 3D printing as I went by way of numerous variations of the bracket. I used to be fairly stunned that I acquired the diameter good on my 2nd try, and my first try at a snap-fit labored completely. Even my son, who’s a plastics engineer, was impressed.

Every bracket encompasses a nub on the within that gives a little bit of retention. If I’ll go on an extended hike, I also can screw a 1/4-20 screw or knob into the rail to fully safe it.

I made the u-shaped a part of the bracket to be “common” for this 37mm tripod leg, which got here in useful when designing the battery holder.

The Battery Holder

I hardly ever want a second battery, nevertheless it’s at all times once I overlook to carry one with me once I do. Subsequent on the checklist was to make a battery bracket in order that I at all times have a battery with my tripod.

Using the identical u-shaped bracket and socket, I designed the battery holder with a nub that interfaces with the little sq. gap within the Canon LP-E6 battery for safe retention. I did undergo two designs for this holder. The primary design had a slot within the entrance, nevertheless it wasn’t vast sufficient for my finger. This design has an open backside in order that I can push the battery up and out.

I additionally carried out a gap for storing the hex wrench for my tripod legs. I do have plans to make one with a lid to maintain water out, however I do not usually shoot within the rain, so that will not be an issue for now.

The Gimbal Cap

I beforehand modified my gimbal to make use of a 3/8″ stainless bolt for its connection to the tripod as a substitute of the small one which got here with it. After I did so, I needed to take away the cap and later realized that I couldn’t re-install it as a result of lock nuts’ bigger dimension. Not content material with an unsightly tripod head, I designed and 3D printed a brand new cap for it.

The tight tolerances for the inside diameter of the gimbal proved to be slightly difficult. Relating to 3D printing, you have to decide your printer’s dimensional accuracy and design accordingly. For instance, you would possibly design one thing that’s 30mm vast, nevertheless it finally ends up printing 30.2mm vast.

3D-Printing Last Ideas

I’ve printed many issues for my workplace, and I’ve fairly a couple of different concepts of issues that I want to print. I’ve already designed a lens hood for my Canon 100-400mm, however I nonetheless have a couple of issues left to do with that design. That one is extra of an “I ponder if I can do this” sort of factor reasonably than a necessity.

I printed brackets to mount my Mac Mini underneath the desk and an arm to carry my microphone and webcam for my principal PC. My 40″ monitor makes it tough to get a very good digicam angle for my every day video conferences. I’ve additionally printed a couple of brackets to mount issues like my card reader and USB hubs to the facet of my laptop rack.

You could find many gadgets on-line to print in the event you’re not into designing your individual. The thrilling half is you can print issues that aren’t commercially accessible. There are battery holders, card holders, mini-tripods, lens hoods, nearly every little thing you’ll be able to think about.

Should you’re occupied with getting a 3D printer, bear in mind that it’s most undoubtedly one thing for the hobbyist. There’s slightly extra to it than simply downloading a design and urgent the print button. There is a steep studying curve to getting your printer working good. There’s a truthful quantity of machine setup and determining the precise settings in your filament, however as soon as you work it out, it is a blast. 

I used Tinkercad for all of those designs, because it’s fast and simple. It is also browser-based. Tinkercad sounds tacky, and it seems to be fairly easy once you first take a look at it, however the extra you find out about it, the extra highly effective it turns into. Clearly, for extra advanced designs, you’d wish to use extra superior CAD software program. I am additionally studying Fusion360, a parametric CAD utility, and a extra advanced studying curve.


Whether or not you are prototyping your subsequent million-dollar thought, making substitute elements, or just creating one thing you can’t purchase, you would possibly wish to look into 3D printing. It is a enjoyable passion that may additionally tie in together with your images, whether or not you shoot as a hobbyist or skilled.

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