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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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06.10.13         3d printing  

The 3D Printing Adventures Continue....Next Up...Lenses!


Been selling the Sky Cam Adapters pretty consistently and will be sending a batch to my shipping company to send out, we should expect to see them on the store very shortly. Im looking for a good plastic extrusion company to mass produce them because it takes about 2 hours to print them up on the printer, which is way too long, but yes, until I can find a company to do this, Ill continue to print them up here for those who want them. Just email or leave comments below and Ill email you back with details. Once they are on the store you wont be able to pick your color.

There are going to be a lot of Camera accessories coming that will allow you to 3D print from your own home. Ive seen a few of them already. Basic things like a Macro Extension Tube, flash stand, and some lens caps. Some of the designs do not fit at all, others are problematic to print up, and others work ok. I think much of it depends on the original designer and how it is printed, but suffice it to say some are definitely better than others.

One of my original intentions after the Adapter was to build lens housings that I could use to hold lens elements and create my own custom lenses. Lenses that either are not sold commercially are are cost prohibitive, such as an f1.0 or 800mm lens for example. Im finding myself trying to think more how the printer can create the actual parts I need, but I dont plan to print the actual glass lenses themselves, I will get those from other sources. (Inexpensive glass lenses are pretty easy to get in a variety of sizes, more on this later).

Yesterday I printed up my first lens mounts - I had huge problems initially, but made some adjustments and tweaks and have a good fitting now:
When I am designing, I typically print up just a small part of it to see if it fits before making the rest of the design. When All the smaller parts are fitting, then I start incorporating them.

Next I opened up an old 50mm 1.8 FD Canon lens I bought on Ebay just to learn more about the internal mechanics of lenses. It was pretty simple, 2 glass elements, and aperture array in between. The Front lens moves in a threaded cup structure for focusing, and the back lens is fixed. Ive taken it apart and re-assembled it a couple times now and think I have a good understanding of the structure of the housing.

Next Ill start taking apart EF lenses (electric focus Canon Lenes). I expect to find some pins, small motors, but essentially a very similar design. There really cant be too much to a 40mm Pan-cake lens for example.

I have a theory that that if I can make a good lens body, and Frankenstein together the right parts, I should be able to make some pretty awesome lenses. Ill definitely keep you guys posted.

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