One characteristic of all my previous pinhole cameras is that they were either handmade from cardboard or wood or metal cans, or they involved considerable modification to existing film cameras. In other words, they were difficult to reproduce and not easily shared. As well, many could not be left out in the weather as they would fall apart or rust.
Since I got my first Solidoodle 3 printer, I have been designing and printing pinhole cameras. There’s something really cool about using the latest technology to produce such a simple no-technology camera. 3D printing enables single-part complex structures that cannot be manufactured by normal injection molding techniques. I am not interested in making the next cheap Holga or Diana – I’m interested in what can be accomplished with 3D printing and CAD design.
Now that I can share my experiences with a reproducible camera, I’d like to introduce you to your Flyer camera and to the magic of pinhole photography.
Flyer is my first 3D printed pinhole camera. It is printed in ABS (the same plastic used in LEGO blocks) and designed to be robust and light. It takes a 6cm x 6cm square image, 12 exposures to a roll of 120 film, just like a Hasselblad. It can be mounted to a tripod and it has a flip shutter that is really easy to use. The field of view is 70 degrees with an f/stop of 160.
The camera is incredibly simple to use. It can be loaded and used in less than 30 seconds out of the box, as you can see from the following no-text instruction diagram.
- Wind to number 1
- Open shutter to take picture, wind to number 2, and repeat
- After 12, wind and wind until all film is on spool