Will We See 3D-Printed Camera Accessories Soon?

Will We See 3D-Printed Camera Accessories Soon?

3D printers have recently become cheaper, more reliable, and more capable at the consumer level. On the same token, photographers constantly need all sorts of miscellaneous parts: adapters, clamps, rings, etc. It seems like now is the time for at-home 3D printing to take hold.

I stumbled across these plans for a Kiev 10/15 to Sony E-Mount adapter recently. It allows these lenses to be mounted onto any Sony E-mount camera and maintains infinity focus and aperture control. Older Soviet lenses are known for being a treasure trove of interesting optics that are built like tanks. However, finding adapters can be both difficult and pricey at times. The ability to 3D print such devices at home is very enticing, and it could be a great boon to those of us who are constantly losing accessories, like to experiment, or who simply need parts that don't exist.

Imagine finding a neat lens and wanting to try it on your Canon: design an adaptor and print it yourself. Need a memory card case? You can get that here. Labeled lens caps? Someone designed those. Lost your lens hood? That's right here. Try tilt-shift photography for cheap here. The best part is that many of these designs are free. Of course, there are some limitations: robustness isn't guaranteed, and pretty much anything requiring a circuit board is out, but both the convenience and creative possibilities are promising. 

Have you 3D-printed any photography accessories? Let me know your experience in the comments!

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Tyler Newcomb's picture

I 3D printed a lens hood last fall, and I also made myself a 3D printed mount for my flash.

Alex Cooke's picture

That's awesome! Do you have some pictures of them?

Tyler Newcomb's picture

I will try to post a photo of the lens hood tonight. The flash mount broke, but now my work has a carbon fiber 3D printer, so I may attempt version 2.0 in the near future. But my work also has tools to shape and cut carbon fiber, so i may just make a tripod instead

Anonymous's picture

def not too far away.... re: Mercury Camera Project on Kickstarter

Steen Oervad's picture

3D printed accessories exist allready. Here is a nice bouncecard: http://flashhavoc.com/wyng-flexible-flash-diffuser/

Alex Cooke's picture

That's really neat!

Steen Oervad's picture

Yep, brilliant idea and it weighs next to nothing. The way it mounts on the side of the flash, is really practical for quick vertical and/or horisontal shots. The flashbender variety weighs a ton, compared to these. One can actually make a quick DIY version out of hobby-foam, also known as moss-foam I think. I made a couple, and they are great.

Jamie MacDonald's picture

A friend of mine makes and sells an adapter to allow the use of filters on the Olympus mZuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens. I have it and use it quite a bit.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

I haven't yet but my public library offers free access to a 3d printer one day a week so I was thinking of printing out some gridded snoots for my Godox flashes.

Alex Cooke's picture

Share them if you do!

Tyler Newcomb's picture

Probably spend money to fix it. People who don't know how to use 3D printers clog the heads all the time and screw up the extruder by not allowing enough clearance, so constant maintenence is essential

Chris Cameron's picture

I have set up a store to sell my Photo Accessory designs as 3D printable files.
I have a bunch more designs to add just getting around to photographing them.
Fstoppers readers can get a 15% discount using the coupon code f-stoppers

Bradley Faber's picture

I had a collar for one of my lenses 3d printed (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:292478). I am also looking for an emount adapter that allows you to mount lenses shifted (I have seen one that allows you to mount them tilted at a constant angle).

Ian Bone's picture

I've been using these 3D printed follow-focus gears for some time now and they are brilliant. http://followfocusgears.com
They stay on the lens, and there is no join so theoretically the lens can turn 360 degrees.

Dennis Moser's picture

http://holgamods.com/holgamods/Main.html ... for more than just Holgas ... and he does custom work if you ask ...