Project of the Week

Albert created an amazing pinhole camera by modifying a design from Thingiverse, and printed it on our Ultimaker 2 3D printer! Here is how he turned his idea into a working camera. This story is also featured on our 3D printer tab on the top menu bar! 


Who are you? 

My name is Albert Gregoritsch.  I am an intern in the Teacher Apprenticeship Program at Champlain College and am doing my student teaching with Will Bohmann at CTE.  Before that, I was an engineer at IBM.

What did you make?

This week I made a pinhole camera.  I modified a design that I found on Thingiverse.  The modifications were to save PLA and reduce print time.
A pinhole camera works by only allowing light through a very small hole at the front of the camera.  By using a small hole, only light coming directly from objects in the field of view can pass to the film.  This light forms an image on the film that can then be developed and printed.

Why did you make it?

The real reason that I made it was to show that a 3D printer can be used to make something that can be useful and not just a novelty.  In addition I have always enjoyed photography, and thought that this could be a fun project.  It allowed me to experiment with my 3D modeling software, put the 3D printer to use, and satisfy a desire to do something artsy all at the same time.

How did you make it?

I found a design that allowed 35mm film to be used, and then made some changes to it in a program called Tinkercad, which is an online 3D modeling program.  The online nature of this program makes designs that I am working on portable.  Once I was happy with the modifications, I downloaded the .stl files and set them up on the 3D printer in the EHS maker space.  There was still some fitting of the pieces that needed to be done with some hand tools, and the pin hole itself had to be made using a section of a soda can, a needle, and some sand paper.


What did you learn while making it that might be useful to others?

Not all of the dimensions are quite right.  Some further modifications will need to be made to some of the smaller parts in order to make the camera fit together better and work the way that it was intended.  The clips that hold the knobs in place do not fit well when the back is put on the camera, and when they are pressed in all the way, they are difficult to remove.
I also learned something about photography that I didn’t know before.  For one thing, 35 mm film may not be the best choice for a pin hole camera due to it’s relatively small size.  A medium format film, such as 120 file, (which has a 60 mm frame size) may be a better choice.
Come to the makerspace every Thursday from 2:30-3:30p.m. for a drop-in 3D printing workshop with Albert!

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