Open Reflex: 3D-printed SLR camera

250 grams of ABS plastic for 3D printing, several screws and nuts, a small mirror, magnets, pieces of plastic sheet, black sealant, as well as a 3D printer and a cutting plotter, glass cutter, screwdrivers and sandpaper - these are almost a complete set of materials and tools, with which you can build an Open Reflex 35mm film SLR camera.

Drawings of parts and detailed assembly instructions are published on the instructables website under a Creative Commons license - the camera is 100% Open Source. According to the author of the project, French designer and hacker Leo Marius, it takes about 15 hours to print and assemble the device. The total cost of materials for creating a camera is about $ 30.

This is not the first Leo Marius camera printed on a 3D printer. A couple of years ago, he made a stenop or pinhole camera - an apparatus without a lens, the most primitive type of camera that appeared at the dawn of photographic equipment, but is sometimes used now in artistic photography. Instead of lenses, this camera has a tiny hole. She can be photographed only at very high shutter speeds, since very little light gets on the photosensitive element.

One of the test photos taken with Open Reflex

The most difficult element of the Open Reflex camera was the shutter. A true shutter is a very complex and delicate mechanism. Leo Marius had to come up with a completely original design, which in addition to printed parts uses a piece of film and wheels from the fingerboard . The resulting shutter has a fixed shutter speed of approximately 1/60 second. In the future, Leo Marius plans primarily to improve the shutter. He also plans to provide the camera with an electronic filling based on Arduino.

The Open Rflex camera uses factory-made interchangeable lenses. Leo Marius did not want to create a home-made lens, but the Japanese Yuki Suzuki was not afraid of this either. The body of its lens is printed on a 3D printer, and the lenses are made of transparent acrylic. Photos taken with it can hardly be called high-quality, however, the main goal of the project, as in the case of Open Reflex, is not an attempt to compete with photographic equipment manufacturers, but a study of the possibilities of 3D printing and the passion of a home-maker trying to recreate a high-tech product at home.