Photography has long since moved into the digital age but there are many snappers who still work with film. The problem is that most SLR cameras these days are digital as most manufacturers only produce digital SLR camera.
The OpenReflex camera on Instructables was created by Leo Marius, so anyone can download the design and 3D print their own SLR. As the name implies, the design is “Open” and Leo is encouraging people to improve on his initial design.
The OpenReflex is an Open-Source analog camera with a mirror Viewfinder and an awesome finger activated mechanic shutter (running ~ 1/60°s). What’s more, it’s compatible with any photographic lens.
All the pieces easily printable on an recent RepRap-like ABS 3D-printer without using support material! Everything should print in less than 15h and anyone should be able to assemble it within 1h.
All parts are separate ( Film receiver, Shutter and Viewfinder ) to simplify builds and modifications.
The source files are available under the CreativeCommon By-Sa license, fell free to modify them if you want a new feature, and don’t forget to share your improvements on the web
To make your own SLR camera you’ll need a 3D printer (such as a RepRap), a vinyl cutter or laser cutter, a glass cutter as well as a screwdriver, glasspaper, Sugru, screw and bolts. Most of this stuff can be bought at any local hardware store. All parts can be printed on a low-cost desktop 3D printer and then be snapped together.
All of the OpenReflex’s parts take around 15 hours to print and it will cost around $30 in plastic filament, the internal mirror and some Sugru to “lightproof” the camera.
The parts include the 35mm film receiver, the shutter, and the viewfinder. The film receiver will carry the 35mm film and the shutter can expose the film at around 1/60°s. As in a regular camera the viewfinder allows you to mount your lens and gives you a view of how your shot looks before taking a picture.
We’re not photography experts but we think the photos taken with the OpenReflex look pretty good and they are likely to only get better once the 3D printed camera community start improving Leo’s design.
Take a look at this video which shows how the simple shutter mechanism works.