7 photography gadgets and accessories you can 3D print at home

by Gannon Burgett

posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 10:39 AM EST

3D printers are getting more accurate and cost-efficient with each passing day. Even if you don’t have one of your own, there are a handful of companies you can send 3D files to and have printed for you.

Just what exactly can a photographer do with a 3D printer, you ask? Well, your imagination is really the only limitation, but if you need some inspiration or would rather rely on objects created by others, this handy round-up from All3DP is just what you need.

In it, All3DP shares seven photography-related open source 3D files that you can print out on your own or have printed for you. The list is broken up into four sections, each of which has one or more photograph accessories.

From top left, clockwise: 3D printed SD card case, 3D printed custom rear lens caps, 3D printed lens hood for Canon's 'Nifty Fifty' and a 3D printed lens cap holder.

The first collection are ‘The Basics,’ which include 3D files for an SD card case, custom lens caps with the numbers marked into the back, lens cap holders and even a lens hood for Canon’s first iteration ’Nifty Fifty’ 50mm f/1.8.

Next up is an adapter that can turn any Canon lens into a tilt-shift lens. Granted, it’s a fixed and can’t be adjusted, it gets the job done at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated tilt-shift lens.

The third component is a budget macro photography LED ring. For roughly $35 of materials (not counting the 3D printer), you can build an arduino-controlled LED ring that can change colors, patterns and intensities.

The last tutorial shared is Open Sonnar, a 3D printed solution to mounting older Sonnar lenses to Sony’s NEX/E-Mount. This little hack fixes the issue of the internal focusing mechanism Sonnar lenses contained, letting you use them again.

To check out the list in its entirety, head on over to All3DP. All of the 3D files and tutorials are located on Thingverse, a 3D search platform for any and all things created with 3D printers.

Additionally, every object created is shared under Creative Common licenses, meaning you can use, share, remix or otherwise alter almost any of the products and share them yourself.

It’s worth pointing out that almost all of these designs were created by hobbyists. Between that and the differences between 3D printers, there’s a good chance not everything will come out perfectly. But it’s worth giving a shot and even tweaking the design yourself if you have the know-how.


Image credits: Photographs by their respective creators, used under Creative Commons