Geek-out time: We’ve 3D-printed a model of Olympus’ open-platform camera for a video walkaround!


posted Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 5:14 PM EDT


Over the weekend, we told readers about Olympus' prototype Open Platform Camera, a hacker-friendly project that the company has shown at Hackathon events in Japan. Based around a Micro Four Thirds lens-style camera that's supported by both an SDK and 3D models that allow it to be incorporated into larger projects, the project appealed to our inner geeks, and doubly so the availability of the 3D models.

As it happens, IR founder Dave Etchells recently built a 3D printer of his own from a kit supplied by the good folks at SeeMeCNC. (Specifically, it's the Rostock Max model.) In our earlier article, we promised to try printing the camera body model, and true to our word, we've now done so. You can see the results in a video walkaround of the prototype camera, below. Dave hasn't fine-tuned his yet, nor did he have time to add support structures that would have avoided problems with overhangs, but a few rough edges aside, the result gives a pretty cool insight into the project -- and it's accurate enough to allow Micro Four Thirds lenses to be held up against the mount for a sense of scale, albeit without the necessary flanges for actual mounting.

A quick walkaround of Olympus' prototype open-platform camera, as 3D-printed by Imaging Resource founder and publisher Dave Etchells

If you'd like to learn more about the project and its scope, you'll find everything we know from the Olympus Japan Hack&Make project in our earlier article. Japanese speakers can also find plenty of info on the official Olympus Hack&Make Project website. If you have any thoughts you want to share, or questions about Dave's 3D printing setup, sound off in the comments below!