Printing Your Own Cameras from STL Files

Test Print of Flyer 6x6

strip-xmas13-078-10For 3D printing enthusiasts, you can print your own pinhole cameras! If you’ve never done pinhole photography, it’s ridiculously simple. Load the film, open/close the shutter, advance the film, repeat X times, send the film off for processing. After nearly 20 years of pinhole photography, I’m still amazed and astounded at some of the images I get back. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.


 

Parts & Assembly

There are mechanical parts kits you can get along with the STL files to complete the cameras. Since most of the parts come in bulk quantities, it’s cheaper for you to get the parts kit than to order all the individual parts. However, the parts kit is not really necessary if you are a bit creative (as 3D printing enthusiasts generally are).

Assembling the Flyer 6×6 (PDF)
Assembling the Clipper 6×18 (PDF)

Minimal Parts

Flyer 6x6 Parts

Flyer 6×6 Parts

The minimal key parts are:

  • Screws: M3-8mm (4-40 in a pinch), 3 for Flyer and 1 for Clipper
  • Red Window: the red window can be cut out of a dark red transparent office folder as a circle 1/2″ in diameter, and glued in with rubber cement
  • Pinhole: the pinhole can be made out of tin foil 3/4″ in diameter, punctured with a needle (Google for how-to), and glued in with rubber cement
  • Shutter: (Clipper only) a piece of black gaffer’s tape (similar to masking tape but opaque)
  • Optional: 1/4-20 nut for a tripod
  • Recommended: weatherstrip to provide pressure on the film while winding

Don’t forget the all important signature rubber band (2 for Clipper) – it serves to hold the lid on while film is in and as a reminder that film is present in the camera. When around the base instead (Flyer) or both on one side (Clipper), there’s no film in.


 
Make your own Flyer 6×6  Make your own Clipper 6×18